A Ryan Pace draft trade has become an annual tradition for the Chicago Bears. The young GM has now gone three-straight drafts with at least one trade made at some point during the spring extravaganza. This has led many to believe the streak will continue in 2019. This despite the Bears having only five picks available.
Pace himself said the idea is difficult because of their lack of ammunition, but such things haven’t stopped him before. It’s all a matter of the right player being within reach or the right offer being made for him to move down. Time will tell.
That said, it’s time to look back at every trade he’s made to this point. How many were good? How many might he wish to do over again?
Traded 11th pick and 4th in 2016 to Tampa Bay for Leonard Floyd
The Bears felt they needed more speed at outside linebacker for their new 3-4 defense. So Pace reached a deal with the Buccaneers that allowed him to jump the Giants at #10, who had a similar need, to grab Georgia standout Leonard Floyd. Floyd has 15.5 sacks in three seasons. The two picks they traded became Vernon Hargreaves and Eric Murray.
Traded 41st pick to Buffalo for 49th pick, a 4th in 2016 and 4th in 2017
After failing to move up for tight end Hunter Henry, the Bears decided to move a few spots back, receiving a nice offer from the Bills for two 4th round picks to drop just eight total spots in the 2nd round. While most of the players they passed on haven’t panned out. One has in a big way. He’s Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas, who went 47th.
Traded 49th pick to Seattle for Cody Whitehair and Deon Bush
The Seahawks coveted defensive tackle Jarran Reed from Alabama, so they gave the Bears yet another 4th round choice to move up from #56 overall. Reed had 10.5 sacks in 2018. However, the Bears ended up with future Pro Bowl center Cody Whitehair while also secured a decent backup safety and special teams player in Deon Bush.
Traded 117th pick and 6th in 2016 to Rams for Nick Kwiatkoski
The Bears didn’t have a lot of depth at inside linebacker and they liked Nick Kwiatkoski’s hard-hitting, aggressive style. So they swung a deal to jump up from #113 to #117 to get him. He’s since become a solid backup and capable special teams player. However, Los Angeles ended up with Pro Bowl kick returner Pharoh Cooper.
Traded 3rd pick, a 3rd and a 4th in 2017, and a 3rd in 2018 for Mitch Trubisky
This is the big one. The one that so many people criticize to this day. Pace moves up a single spot in the top five of the 2017 draft to grab a quarterback with only one year of college starting experience. All the while sacrificing three solid draft picks.
All things considered, the Bears don’t seem to regret it. San Francisco ended up with Solomon Thomas and Fred Warner while one of the 3rd rounders was traded to the Saints who used it on Alvin Kamara. That’s the one difficult part to swallow. Still, Trubisky had one of the best passing seasons in Bears history last year and took them to the playoffs.
Safe to say they got the better end of that deal.
Traded 36th pick to Arizona for Adam Shaheen and Tarik Cohen
The Cardinals really wanted safety Budda Baker, so they offered their 45th pick and a 4th rounder in exchange for the Bears’ selection. Pace moved back and settled for Ashland tight end Adam Shaheen, who has largely been a disappointment through two years due to injuries.
However, that 4th round pick became one of their most dangerous offensive weapons and Pro Bowl punter returner Tarik Cohen.
Traded 117th pick and 6th in 2017 to Rams for Eddie Jackson
Josh Reynolds and Jeremy Clark. Those are the two players the Bears ended up “sacrificing” to go up and get their first All-Pro safety in over 30 years. Eddie Jackson has become one of the most dangerous defensive backs in the NFL with six touchdowns and three defensive scores in 2018 alone. What else is there to say?
Traded 105th pick and future 2nd to New England for Anthony Miller
This deal is a bit harder to grade because the 2nd rounder the Bears gave to the Patriots has yet to be utilized. That will happen within the next few days. For the moment though, it’s safe to say the team is happy with it. Miller scored seven touchdowns as a rookie in 2018. Something that hasn’t been done since Willie Gault way back in 1983.