After striking out on acquiring one of the top veteran quarterbacks, the Chicago Bears must now turn their attention to the draft. Here are some potential prospects to target.
The Chicago Bears tried to make a big splash at the start of the NFL’s new year. They were rumored to be in on just about any available (and some unavailable) quarterback. At one point, the prevailing thought was that Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson would go to Chicago.
In the end, Seattle surprisingly said no to an incredible offer for Wilson — three first-round picks, a third-round pick, and two starters. You have to give Ryan Pace credit, he tried to swing for the fences but missed.
After failing to acquire Wilson, the Bears quickly turned around and signed Andy Dalton. After teasing the fans with Wilson, settling for Dalton left a bad taste in fans’ mouths. Don’t get it wrong, Dalton is an improvement over what they had in Mitch Trubisky. Dalton reads the defense better, diagnoses plays quicker, and is more accurate on deep throws.
While the Bears now have Dalton, he isn’t the future. He signed for just one season. Unless he has an incredible, historic season and leads the Bears to a Super Bowl win, he likely won’t return in 2022. For that to happen, Pace and company need to turn their attention to the draft and pick up a prospect.
There are a few quarterbacks who could fit in with head coach Matt Nagy’s offense. The problem is that there are a few other teams with a need at quarterback who pick ahead of the Bears. Chicago probably needs to trade up to find their guy. Let’s hope that this one is better than Pace’s last attempt.
Here are some quarterback prospects the Chicago Bears could target:
Kellen Mond, Texas A&M
Okay, so maybe the Chicago Bears don’t go for a quarterback in the first round. That is certainly a possibility. They went all in on Wilson and he was a third round pick. They may decide that they like Kellen Mond and go for him later in the draft and not spend a lot of draft capital to move up in the first round to pick someone.
For those of you lamenting the work of the Bears’ offensive line, Mond has experience dealing with a bad line. He took a lot of hits the past two seasons yet found a way to complete 62.3 percent of his passes. He uses good torque to sling the ball and get it to the receiver quickly. He sometimes tends to hold onto the ball a little too much and he needs to bulk up a little (he measures 6-foot-2 and weighs 205 pounds).
Mond is a dual-threat quarterback. He tended to leave the pocket too early in his first few seasons but as he matured he grew to become a better pocket passer. Additionally, he did a better job of placing the ball well for his receivers. He had a touchdown to interception rate of 2:1 but it jumped to 6:1 in 2020.
Mond is a project but if Dalton can do a good job of handling the offense for a season (maybe two) then Mond can learn at his pace and be ready to take over later.
Trey Lance, North Dakota State
Trey Lance is a prospect who impressed the scouts on his Pro Day. Pace was there to see him and that is where he made the failed offer to the Seahawks. Lance can kill opposing defenses with his legs. He doesn’t have to tuck the ball and run (though he can do that very well). He has the quickness and escapability to extend plays once the pocket breaks down.
Lance uses great technique to throw the ball with velocity, which helps him make throws on those windy Chicago winters. He also has a good touch on his throw. He played in the pistol, gun, and under center so he can make throws from any position.
Lance does a good job of throwing passes away from coverage. He goes through his progressions quickly and finds the open man. Also, he stays calm under pressure. At 6-foot-4, 226 pounds, he has above-average speed and is difficult to bring down.
Lance is much smarter than his age. He’ll be just 20 years old at the draft yet his coaches rave about his football IQ and his work ethic. At North Dakota State, the coaches allowed him to call his own protections. Additionally, the passes called required him to make use of the full field and he did that well.
At his age, Lance could use a redshirt season. He could sit and learn for a season before stepping in and taking over in 2022. He’ll be a starter eventually and a good one at that.
Mac Jones, Alabama
Mac Jones is the favorite to end up in a Chicago Bears uniform. Many mocks have the Bears taking him at 20. If the Bears want him, however, they may have to move up. It would be a very good move if they do.
Mac Jones isn’t a quarterback who will wow you with any of his abilities. He is just solid at everything. He can make the short to intermediate throws and has the power to make accurate throws deep.
Yes, Jones had a bunch of NFL-caliber players around him that made his life easier. However, he made some throws that helped his receivers. His ball placement is near perfection. He constantly hits his receivers in stride which allows them to make big plays. Imagine he and Allen Robinson making big plays.
Jones isn’t a very mobile quarterback but he has a good feel for the pocket breaking up and will move to extend the play. Also, he won’t take unnecessary chances. He’d rather throw the ball away than take a sack or force a bad throw that results in an interception.
Jones can bulk up a little to take the rigors of the NFL life. SItting down for a season makes him more polished, but if he needs to step in his first season he can do it.