Jake Fromm

NFL Draft 2020: Who’s next for Bears after Cole Kmet and Jaylon Johnson?

NFL Draft 2020: Who’s next for Bears after Cole Kmet and Jaylon Johnson?

With their two Friday night picks, Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy addressed major positions of need, grabbing Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet with the 43rd pick and Utah cornerback Jaylon Johnson seven picks later. 

So what's next? Staying on your couch all day, for one. On Saturday, the Bears have a whole bunch of picks: one in the 5th (163), two in the 6th (196, 200) and two in the 7th (226, 233). 

The only glaring position of need that the team hasn't addressed yet is offensive line, and it stands to reason that they'd try to fill out some depth there Saturday. TCU's Lucas Niang, Washington's Trey Adams, and LSU's Saahdiq Charles are all tackles the Bears could roll the dice on, while St. John's Ben Bartch and Auburn's Jack Driscoll could fill in the interior. 

At linebacker, names like Troy Dye (Oregon), Malik Harrison (Ohio State), and Akeem Davis-Gaither (App State) are all edge names to keep an eye on. 

And, if we really want to get crazy, Jake Fromm (Georgia), Jacob Eason (Washington), and Anthony Gordon (Washington State) are all QBs who may slip into the Bears' range. That would be a fun way to end the draft.

NFL Draft 2020: Why Bears should not use a second round pick on a quarterback

NFL Draft 2020: Why Bears should not use a second round pick on a quarterback

Jalen Hurts, Jacob Eason and Jake Fromm are all still available after Thursday night’s first round of the NFL Draft. 

The Bears shouldn’t take any of them in the second round on Friday. 

Drafting a quarterback would almost certainly mean one of the Bears’ two most valuable remaining assets — picks 43 and 50 — wouldn’t contribute in 2020. At all. 

[MORE: 10 prospects still on the board for the Bears in NFL Draft]

I just think there’s too much at stake this year to draft someone who won’t contribute. The Bears have a good collection of special talent (Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, Eddie Jackson, Eddie Goldman, Kyle Fuller and Allen Robinson top that list), but still have some holes on the roster. In the immediate term, there’s no need for a third-string quarterback, like there is for a starting safety or cornerback or guard. 

You can dream all you want about the Bears trading Mitch Trubisky and clearing a spot on the depth chart for Hurts/Eason/Fromm all you want, but what team is offering fair compensation for Trubisky right now? Trubisky is going to be on the Bears in 2020, either as the starter or the backup. 

I highly doubt any quarterback the Bears draft would pass either Trubisky or Foles on the 2020 depth chart. Trubisky knows the offense and could operate it if he has to come off the bench. A rookie probably couldn't. And there’s an immediate problem with that learning curve because we don’t know when the Bears will be able to hold their next in-person practice. 

There’s no rookie minicamp or OTAs to go through Nagy Scheme 101 and build a foundation before training camp. And training camp could be shortened, too. If camp only lasts a couple weeks instead of a month and a half, wouldn’t the Bears want a quarterback who knows the offense — in this case, Tyler Bray — running with the third-stringers so Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy can get the best evaluation of those guys?

The point being: If the Bears draft a quarterback, there’s a good chance he won’t get much meaningful practice time as a rookie. Maybe a little with the scout team in the season. But there's a chance it could hinder that guy’s development not just this year, but into the 2020s.

So this is not only about the upcoming season. 

But a lot of it is. If the Bears had a normal draft set up — with first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh-round picks — in a normal year, I could understand drafting a quarterback in Round 2, since they'd be able to fill holes with a few of those other picks. But this is not a normal draft setup, with two second-round picks and then none again until the fifth round (trading down, by the way, would make drafting a QB more palatable). 

And again, we don’t know when the next time Nagy and the Bears’ coaching staff will get to conduct an actual practice. So combine a roster that’s close to winning and an unprecedented, uncertain offseason and it leads me to believe the Bears have to get guys who can help right now. 

So that means drafting a guy like Grant Delpit from LSU to plug in at safety, or drawing from a good crop of receivers still on the board after the first round. Adding an edge rusher to rotate with Robert Quinn and Mack would make a lot of sense, too, as would grabbing a cornerback or a guard. Those are the safe options. 

It won’t get the Bears their quarterback of the future, unless they luck into a guy in the sixth or seventh round. But it will give them a better chance of making the playoffs in 2020.

The caveat here is this: If Nagy is banging the table for a quarterback, take him. It’s the scenario Ryan Pace described earlier this week:

“We’re always going to take the best player available,” Pace said. “If a quarterback was there and he was the highest guy on our board in a strong way, we would consider that.”

[MORE: Ranking Ryan Pace's worst draft picks as Bears' GM]

If the Bears draft a quarterback, they better be sure about him. And I trust Nagy to identify the guy he thinks could be a franchise quarterback operating his offense, if that guy exists on Day 2 of this year's draft. 

Smart teams, yes, address their future at quarterback before they have to. It’s why the Packers picked Jordan Love on Thursday night, and 15 years ago picked Aaron Rodgers while Brett Favre was still their starter. But not every team has the luxury of operating like the Packers

The Bears already took their swing at getting a quarterback of the future three years ago. So far, they’ve missed, all while building a pretty good roster around Trubisky. That setup does not lend itself to making a bold move at quarterback with a dearth of draft capital. 

Is it ideal? Of course not. But this is the spot the Bears are stuck in. Their best bet is to try to win in 2020 and think about a long-term fix at quarterback in 2021. 

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Bears should avoid drafting a QB in the early rounds, says NFL Draft analyst

Bears should avoid drafting a QB in the early rounds, says NFL Draft analyst

Jalen Hurts? Jake Fromm? JUSTIN HERBERT?! (sorry. I'm sorry. i'm trying to remove it.) Leading up to this year's NFL Draft, the Bears have been ever-so-slightly linked to the idea of taking a quarterback with one of their two second round picks. And while some of it may be some high-grade pageview mining, take one look at the depth chart and suddenly it doesn't seem *that* nuts. 

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That being said, the idea is more of a hit in some circles than others, as the vast majority don't much see the point of taking a QB that high with Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles on the roster. Consider NFL Network's Draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah one of those people. Earlier in the week, Jeremiah hopped on a conference call with reporters to chat all things NFL Draft, and because time is a flat circle, a question about Chicago's quarterback situation came up. Should the Bears make an early-round move?t

Wow. That's a great question.Picking at 43 and 50, when you look at the quarterbacks that can kind of be in range there, I think you're looking at Jacob Eason. I think you're looking at Jalen Hurts. I think those would be the guys you'd be choosing from right there. I think Jake Fromm is probably not a great fit in Chicago. So those would be the two guys that you'd be trying to sort out and figure out there.I look at where they are right now. I look at the coaching staff and their familiarity with Nick Foles, and I just think it makes more sense to have that competition, to see if Trubisky, what he can do under that type of pressure, and you know what you have in Nick Foles. I would not use one of those two picks on a quarterback. If you wanted to trade back at some point in time and look for a guy in the middle rounds like a guy like Jake Luton from Oregon State, I'd rather take somebody like that later on down in the draft and use those other two picks to try and help your football team right now. I just don't like the options they're going to have right there at that point.

It's a pretty sturdy argument. For better or for worse, the Bears have hitched their wagon to Trubisky and Foles. There are glaring holes on the offensive line and at tight end, not to mention deficiencies in the secondary that need to be addressed. Never say never when it comes to Ryan Pace, but with a relatively shallow pool of draft capital to work with, using an early-round pick on a project doesn't seem like the prudent decision heading into 2020. But it would be the most fun!