It figures, right? The year after the Bears go out and make a move to draft their franchise QB just happens to be a banner year for QBs coming out of college. One GM that won't be taking a QB in the first round is Ryan Pace, who has pitted his legacy on the right arm of Mitch Trubisky. And while the early returns are mixed, the Bears will certainly give him lots of time to prove his worth.
Meanwhile, it doesn't make sense to have a guy that you believe will become a franchise quarterback but then not surrounding him with offensive linemen and receivers that can help him reach his potential. If there's one thing that Pace can learn from former GM Jerry Angelo's Jay Cutler trade acquisition it's just that—make sure you give your QB the tools he needs to do the job.
With that said, I'd like to see the Bears seriously look at a left tackle and a wide receiver in the first couple of rounds of the draft. Now, as the title suggests, we don't know where the Bears will be picking, or even which underclassmen will be coming out for the draft, much less how they will measure and perform at the Combine. Still, those two positions almost SCREAM for Pace to take action.
If the draft was tonight, Chicago would be picking 10th. WalterFootball suggests that the Bears will be the first team to take a WR, so if things stay as they are, Pace could have his pick of the litter. For what it's worth, they have the Bears grabbing WR Calvin Ridley out of Alabama.
Many scouts feel that Ridley is the top wideout eligible for the draft, and it's hard to argue with that logic. Ridley turns 23 next month, and stands 6'1" and 190 lbs. He's a junior, so it's not certain that he will come out, but all expectations are that he will. His 2016 results don't jump out at you, as he was a bit underutilized.
With 72 catches for 769 yards and seven TDs, it's not as if he did nothing. Quite the contrary. He is explosive and is improving on coming off the block. Last season press coverage gave him trouble. So far this year, Ridley has caught 44 balls for 584 yards.
As for their other big need, left tackle, Walter has the first LT going to the Eagles at 32, Marinas Rankin from Mississippi State. Unless all of the other teams don't need a LT, this means there are none worthy of a top selection, so apparently the Bears won't be able to go that route in the first round. Maybe Rankin lasts until the second round and falls to the Bears?
Mitch Hyatt, Clemson, is a second round possibility. If they go a different route in the first round and wait to take a WR in the second round, the first one scheduled to go is Parris Campbell out of Ohio State. Interestingly, Walter has the Bears going with a corner in the second round, Iman Marshall, out of USC.
Look, it's not that I'm suggesting the Bears completely ignore the defense, it's just that they have so many needs on offense that WR and left tackle, along with tight end possibly, need to be addressed in this draft. They need playmakers. the defense is good enough to keep them in games, but to score points with the big boys they need playmakers on offense.
The first TE that Walter has going in round two is Mark Andrews out of Oklahoma. If the Bears want to gamble, they could take the talented—but troubled—Antonio Callaway, a wideout from Florida in the second or third round.
Follow me on Twitter @BobWarja