If the Chicago Bears Draft a 2020 QB, You’ll Find Him at the Senior Bowl

6069

The Chicago Bears went out of their way to insist that the plan for 2020 is for Mitch Trubisky to be their starter. GM Ryan Pace made it crystal clear. However, time has proven that it’s not always wise to take everything the GM says in press conferences at face value. He said Mike Glennon was the unquestioned guy for 2017 and then drafted Trubisky a month later. A lot can change in that span of time. There is no telling for certain what the actual plans of this team are.

What is known for certain is this. The Bears will have two vacant spots on their quarterback depth chart come this spring. Both Chase Daniel and Tyler Bray will be out of a contract. It presents a prime opportunity for the team to reshuffle the deck at the most important position on their roster. Perhaps bringing in some players who can provide some insurance and maybe even competition for Trubisky.

The running theory is that the Bears will likely go after a veteran in some form, be it a free agent or trade acquisition. However, some can’t help but wonder if they might dabble in this 2020 draft class. If so, who will be a guy they might target? If fans want to get a good idea, then they need to have their TVs tuned in for the upcoming Senior Bowl down in Mobile, Alabama.

Most QBs who make sense for Chicago Bears are in Mobile

When people talk about the opportunities to evaluate prospects before a draft, they often refer to either the Scouting Combine or team pro days. In actuality, many top personnel executives and coaches much prefer the Senior Bowl. This is because the process takes an entire week which features pro-style practices capped by an actual game on the weekend. Time has proven that quarterbacks who excel in this environment tend to take that success into the NFL.

Just last year, Duke quarterback Daniel Jones won MVP honors with 115 yards passing, a touchdown throw and a touchdown run. He became the 6th overall pick for the New York Giants and finished with a respectable rookie season that included 3,000 yards passing and 24 touchdown throws. The year before, Wyoming’s Josh Allen led the way with 158 yards and two TDs. He was the top choice for the Buffalo Bills and has since led them to the playoffs.

The trend is certainly consistent. Dak Prescott won MVP in 2016. He has become a Pro Bowler in Dallas. Jimmy Garoppolo shined in 2014. He’s in the NFC championship game with San Francisco. Russell Wilson, Kirk Cousins, and Nick Foles all threw long TD passes in 2012. They’ve all had successful careers to varying extents. If the Bears are going to find anybody in this 2020 class worth drafting, it will be there.

So who might it be?

One name who probably won’t be an option for them is Oregon’s Justin Herbert. Most expect him to go somewhere in the 1st round given his immense talent and strong tape from this past year. Everyone else who has accepted invitations though will likely be fair game. Among them, four names stand out.

Jordan Love (Utah State)

Pace was reportedly a big fan of Marcus Mariota back in 2015. Love has a certain resemblance to the former #2 overall pick in terms of skill set and playing style. He’s athletic, good-sized, and boasts an arm to make just about any throw. Most though fear he’s a project given his erratic decision-making and hot-cold accuracy. Every time he went up against strong competition, he didn’t always show out well. A Pro Bowl ceiling with a backup floor.

Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma)

Football fans are split down the middle on Hurts. Many love him for his maturity, leadership, intangibles, and toughness. He won a national championship at Alabama and got Oklahoma to the CFB playoffs this past year. As a running quarterback, he’s probably the best in the class. What scares people about him is his arm. It’s not the strongest in any measure and he also has persistent issues with accuracy and ball placement. This is a problem because NFL throwing windows are way smaller than college. Can those be corrected? This is what teams will want to see.

Anthony Gordon (Washington State)

Gordon faced an unenviable job in 2019, having to replace campus legend Gardner Minshew as the starting quarterback. Not only did he handle himself well, he broke every passing mark Minshew set with 5,579 yards and 48 touchdowns. Critics have chalked this up to playing in the pass-happy Mike Leach scheme, but it wasn’t just that. Gordon actually has talent. He’s 6’3, runs pretty well, has a strong enough arm and has shown accuracy at all levels. His competitiveness stands out quite often. Experts view him as a future starter if given time to develop.