One of the most surprising events of the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft last night was the Chicago Bears’ move up from the third to the second overall pick in order to draft Mitchell Trubisky.
The Bears gave up a huge haul of draft picks to slide up that one slot, sending their third-round and fourth-round picks this weekend and their third-rounder in 2018 to the San Francisco 49ers. Trubisky now projects as their quarterback of the future, even though he will likely sit for at least a year behind starter Mike Glennon.
The conventional thought is that the Bears made the move to prevent any other teams from trading in to that spot and taking Trubisky ahead of them. However, Yahoo’s Charles Robinson says that would not have happened:
There are none. #Bears were bidding against themselves on that one. Nobody was trying to move to 2 for Trubisky. https://t.co/Z7SO0duvL4— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) April 28, 2017
At this point, it seems clear that 49ers GM John Lynch fleeced the Bears’ Ryan Pace, artificially driving up the price for that second pick while knowing that there were really no other suitors. Pace will now be forever tied to Trubisky; if he fails to live up to the lofty expectations that are placed on a second overall pick - particularly a quarterback taken there - Pace will not make it more than a few years more as the Bears’ GM.
Of course, if Pace is right and Trubisky develops into a franchise quarterback, nobody will remember the large package of picks the team gave up to draft him. We’ll see what happens, but recent trades of this kind have not worked out. For now, at least, it seems likely that the Bears could have still had Trubisky by just staying put, and not doing so has cost them the opportunity to add to their roster in the middle rounds of this year’s draft.