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Buying or Selling Quarterback Prospects for the Chicago Bears

The 2021 NFL Draft is loaded with quarterback prospects. Five quarterbacks are projected to go in the first round and another is projected to go in the second round or the late first round.

This might be good news for the Bears, who need an infusion of youth and a quarterback desperately. However, Chicago’s struggling offense is not a great situation for most rookies. Therefore, only some of these quarterbacks would find success with the Bears.

Three of the six quarterbacks will be long gone before Chicago’s 20th overall pick. This leaves Trey Lance, Mac Jones and Kyle Trask. Lance is expected to be picked before the Bears draft, but some mock drafts have Chicago trading up to get him. Jones and Trask will likely be available when Chicago drafts.

With so many questions surrounding these quarterback prospects and the Bears offense, the 2021 NFL Draft will certainly be complicated for Chicago. With so many rumors surrounding the draft, it is time to play some “Buy or Sell” with the potential future Bear quarterbacks.

Trey Lance

Trey Lance is a bit of an enigma. He put up impressive statistics at North Dakota State in 2019, completing 66.9 percent of his passes for 2,786 yards, 28 touchdowns, and zero interceptions. However, it is important to recognize that this was not against top college teams, as North Dakota State is a member of the FCS. This means that Lance faced relatively easy competition.

Trey Lance celebrating a 2019 FCS Championship. (Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)

Lance only played one game in 2020, contributing to his obscurity. He looked rusty in his matchup against Central Arkansas, completing 15 of 30 passes for 149 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He also ran for 143 yards and two touchdowns.

Lance is undoubtedly extremely talented. He has an impressive deep ball while being very mobile, something that Bears head coach Matt Nagy is looking for. Lance’s skill set are in line with recent top prospects such as Deshaun Watson, Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes. If he can hit those players standards, Lance could be the next star quarterback of this league.

However, the North Dakota State product is by no means a sure thing. His level of competition has been unimpressive. Lance is also pretty raw at just 20 years. He would likely be a project, and for a mediocre Chicago offense and struggling coaching staff, Chicago might not be a great spot for him to develop.

Lance has the tools to become a superstar. There are many questions surrounding him, but at this point, general manager Ryan Pace does not have much to lose. It is somewhat unlikely that Lance falls to 20th overall, but if he does or if the Bears trade up for him, his potential makes him a good pick for Chicago.

BUY

Mac Jones

Alabama’s Mac Jones was one of the best quarterbacks in college football this season. He was a Heisman Finalist, racking up 4,500 passing yards and 41 touchdowns while completing 77.4% of passes. Despite his superb statistics, he is considered the fifth best quarterback of this talented draft class.

Mac Jones in the 2021 College Football Playoffs (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

There are a couple of reasons for Jones’ relatively low ranking. And unfortunately, both of these disadvantages are direct downsides to the Bears selecting him.

First off, Jones’ weapons and offensive line were unbeatable this season. His two main wide receivers, DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle are both projected to be top 10 picks. Smith even won the Heisman this season, which is especially impressive considering he was a wide receiver. Alabama’s offensive line was nearly impenetrable this season, allowing just one sack per game despite Jones’ limited scrambling ability.

Chicago’s supporting cast is not nearly as impressive as Alabama’s, especially if Allen Robinson decides to leave the team. Their offensive line is also a major issue, allowing 36 sacks through 16 games.

Mac Jones would probably struggle in Chicago. He would no longer have superb protection and targets on offense. This, alongside his poor scrambling ability, would likely make him a bad fit in Chicago’s offense.

SELL

Kyle Trask

Kyle Trask had an impressive season as well. He finished 2nd in the nation with 4,283 passing yards and 1st with 43 touchdowns. He had a completion percentage of 68.9% with only 8 interceptions as well.

One of Trask’s most impressive abilities is his accuracy. With Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky as Chicago’s two quarterback options last year, that is not something Bears receivers are used to. This would be a big improvement to Chicago’s passing game.

Trask does have limited mobility. However, he balances that flaw with composition in the face of pressure. Again, unlike Foles and Trubisky, he does not turtle or consistently make poor decisions when rushed. With a bad Chicago offensive line, this is another major pro to Trask.

One of Trask’s major flaws, however, is a lack of a deep ball. He is more a quarterback that will manage the game and throw accurate short-mid range passes. Unfortunately, this means he does not mix well with the Bears offense. Nagy’s whole game plan is largely to have a mobile quarterback that can throw it deep – something that Trask is not.

Trask will likely be a solid NFL player, one with a high floor but a low ceiling. However, his flaws align with quarterback areas that the Bears offense need production from. Therefore, he would probably not be a good fit in Chicago.

 

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