Could the Chicago Bears use an early draft pick on a quarterback?

Could the Chicago Bears use an early draft pick on a quarterback?
Could USC QB Matt Barkley find himself on the Bears’ radar?

As of today, the Chicago Bears sit with the 2oth pick in this Thursday’s NFL Draft. Speculation has the team taking everything from a guard to a linebacker and everything in between, but few have made mention of drafting a quarterback.

This year’s Draft, on paper, does not compare in terms of talent to last year’s quarterback class. 2012 saw the likes of Andrew Luck, RGIII and Russell Wilson take the NFL by storm while this year’s quarterback class does not even have a definite top-10 selection.

West Virginia’s Geno Smith will likely be the first quarterback taken off the board, but with so much depth along both the offensive and defensive line positions, he could possibly fall out of the top-10. Rumors have linked Matt Barkley to the Arizona Cardinals at No. 7 and Ryan Nassib to the Buffalo Bills at No. 8, but at this time they are nothing more than hearsay.

Bears’ general manager Phil Emery did a nice job addressing some of the team’s needs this offseason by signing guys like Jermon Bushrod, Martellus Bennett, D.J. Williams and James Anderson, giving the team flexibility when they select 2oth overall.

While guard, cornerback, defensive tackle and linebacker still remain a concern, quarterback Jay Cutler is not getting any younger and is on the final year of his contract. I have been a Cutler supporter (and sometimes an apologist) since his arrival in Chicago, but it is important to remember that neither Phil Emery nor Marc Trestman handpicked Cutler to be their quarterback.

That’s not to say that he can’t be their guy, but with no true long-term answer at the position, it would not come across as a total shock if the Bears used one of their early picks on a quarterback if it was someone that Emery and Trestman absolutely loved.

During Emery’s pre-Draft press conference last week he said that he’d “like to draft a quarterback every year,” and that he’s “not ruling out interest in any position or any player.”

Emery has made it clear that he wants to move out of the 2oth position for the right offer, but what if a deal cannot get done, the team stays at 20 and the top name remaining on their draft board is a quarterback? What if a guy like Matt Barkley slips to the second round?

The benefit to drafting a quarterback early is it gives the team the option next season of going with a guy who spent a year in the system if Cutler is not eventually re-signed.  If Cutler is re-signed (which I think he will be) it gives the Bears the possibility of flipping that quarterback for draft picks in the future.

It has been very hard to get a good read on Emery in terms of the Draft, but the combination of his desire to “draft a quarterback every year,” and with Trestman being known as “quarterback guru,” it might not be as shocking as you would think for the Bears to take a quarterback with one of their early picks.

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