Ryan Pace is a scout at heart. He loves working the offseason. Especially when it comes to preparing for the NFL draft. Granting those young men their greatest dream and also building the future of the Chicago Bears? It’s quite a thrill. However, it is also a huge challenge. Drafting good players is one of the hardest jobs in the industry. There’s a reason only a handful of guys can do it consistently.
The last thing the GM needs is for that process to get even harder. This what threatens to happen if college football ends up not having a season. Pace was asked about this possibility on the Hoge & Jahns podcast. He didn’t sugarcoat things. It’s clear he along with the front office and Bears scouts are nervous about what awaits them if the NCAA isn’t able to get the majority of its athletes to play a 2020 season.
Evaluating players at that point would be akin to a roll of the dice.
“It would be hard for so many reasons. And there’s so many more important reasons. I look at it sometimes from myopic lenses of just us, but I think about the players at those schools and the experiences that they might miss out on and the coaches and the student bodies and the fan bases.
That’s hard. But for us, we’d have to lean on previous years’ tape and there’s so many guys you see — especially these young players — that blossom in the final year of their collegiate careers. There’s different things that can happen, so it’s just going to be unique. Every team is going to be dealing with the same thing. These are unprecedented times for sure.”
Chicago Bears could be shooting in the dark like never before
The draft was already educated guessing at best. With a huge chunk of the player base not having a 2020 season? It would be up to blind luck at that point. Already the FCS level announced there would be no football. Division II and III programs are also closing down. Division I programs are winking out as well. The biggest conferences like the ACC and SEC have shrunk their schedules.
So much of this is at the mercy of state governments and how each is choosing to handle COVID-19. Some have made it clear no gatherings in excess of 100 people are allowed. Others are more lenient. The problem is the NCAA doesn’t have the overarching authority to arrange any sort of bubble concept like the NCAA. There are just too many schools and too many players.
That is why pessimism persists.