The Chicago Bears draft plans are unknown. That’s nothing new. Few GMs in the NFL have proven better at masking his intentions than Ryan Pace. His masterful maneuvers to get Mitch Trubisky last year are a perfect example. That said, at least one thing is known for sure about this upcoming event. The Bears aren’t taking a quarterback. This doesn’t mean the position won’t play a prominent part in what they do at #8 overall.

Believe it or not, it’s another team’s recent moves that could have a profound impact on their fortunes. The Buffalo Bills hatched a blockbuster trade Monday afternoon when they reached an agreement to send left tackle Cordy Glenn to the Cincinnati Bengals. In exchange, the Bills were allowed to move up from their 21st spot in the first round to #12 while the teams also swapped picks in later rounds.

This is a significant development. Buffalo is in the market for a quarterback after trading starter Tyrod Taylor to the Cleveland Browns. Most experts believe they won’t stay at #12 long. They currently hold the #22 pick as well, along with two picks in both the second and third rounds. This signals the near guarantee they plan to jump higher.

A Bills move up could greatly benefit the Chicago Bears draft

How does this affect the Bears? Basically, it means another QB-needy team will enter the top seven picks ahead of them, guaranteeing a top non-QB player slips further down the board. For example, experts believe the team to watch in a Bills trade is the Indianapolis Colts. They already have a QB and a ton of holes to fill across the rest of their roster. Buffalo would be able to get ahead of the Broncos (#5) and Jets (#6) who also need quarterbacks.

This suddenly alters the board in a big way. If the Colts move out of the #3 slot, that takes away one of the most likely landing spots for N.C. State pass rusher Bradley Chubb. Cleveland at #4, Denver at #5 and New York at #6 are less likely to take him due to more pressing needs at QB or on offense in general. The next spot that could be considered a lock for him is with Tampa Bay at #7, right in front of the Bears.

Chicago desperately needs help at edge rusher and the free agent market is thin. Not only that, but the class behind Chubb isn’t all that deep. So this would make for a big opportunity to put another blue chip talent across from Leonard Floyd. Pace certainly isn’t afraid to think bold trading up in the first round. He did it for Floyd and then for Trubisky. The good news here is it’d be on the cheaper side because a QB isn’t involved.

A future third rounder or a current and future fourth rounders could be enough to entice a deal with the Jets. This is just one scenario. Even if the Bears stayed put at #8, the likelihood increases that a top five talent slips to their spot if the Bills move up as expected.