There was plenty of hype surrounding the 2017 NFL Draft in Chicago as the Bears held the 3rd overall pick. The thought pre-draft was that the Bears were going to wait out the first two picks, see what happened and hoped one of the many defensive monsters would fall to them to help improve the league’s WORST defense from a year ago and begin the restoration of the “Monsters of the Midway” mantra. But Chicago General Manager Ryan Pace had other plans. He decided to trade a bag of picks to San Francisco (reports have surfaced that John Fox was kept in the dark) to go up and grab Quarterback Mitch(ell) Trubisky from North Carolina, a guy I can almost assure you would still have been there at #3. Instead of picking a “face of the franchise” type defensive player like Solomon Thomas or Jamal Adams. But here we are after day one, a new quarterback to compete with (replace?) our other new quarterback, Mike Glennon. Because yeah, that definitely makes sense. So day one is over and the Bears still have the worst defense, traded 4 total picks to move up 1 spot to grab a quarterback. Fortunately, if the past is any indicator, the Bears have done phenomenally well in rounds 2-4 (Cody Whitehair, Jordan Howard, Alshon, Matt Forte to name a few), so Day Two can’t be worst right?
Wrong. Rounds 2 and 3 started off with a massive sigh of relief as the Bears traded down with Arizona and recouped some picks in the deal. It seemed as though the move back was strategic (crazy thought) to replenish the war chest and then grab a solid defensive player in the mid-2nd. Wrong! The Bears instead decided to take TE Adam Shaheen from Ashland University (Division 2). So so many thoughts on this pick, but the only one that matters is still no help on defense. At this point, it was fortunate that the Bears didn’t have a 3rd round pick so we didn’t have to suffer through the nonsense of Ryan Pace.
Day Three for the Bears came and went quickly, Chicago held three total picks in rounds 4-7, two in the 4th round and one in the 5th. It took 112 picks, but Pace finally addressed the defense with Alabama safety Eddie Jackson.
I love SEC defensive players and given the path that the Bears took to start and finish this draft, I was thankful to not only God but Jesus too that someone took over for Pace and drafted defense. Pace fought his way back into the war-room for the final two selections and took a RUNNING BACK, yeah, arguably the only position the Bears are set at, who happens to stand at a towering 5-6. Oh and he is from a non-FBS school too. The draft mercifully closed in the 5th when Pace drafted Kutztown (Division 2, see a trend?) OT Jordan Morgan.
I have zero issues or qualms with any of the players that were actually drafted, none. I do have an issue with which this organization was steered, directed and handled throughout the weekend in Philly. First things first, you do not leave your coach out of these decisions. That’s a low move. John Fox, while he hasn’t been great, doesn’t deserve this sort of treatment. The defense was clearly the biggest need for Chicago and it was completely ignored. Again, I have no issues with Mitch(ell) Trubisky, I think he can be a good QB in the league, but it is a big IF, but look at next year’s class. Darnold and Rosen are already bonafide top 10 picks! Why the fuck are we wasting draft capital to move up ONE spot to get a guy that I’d bet my left pinky would have been there at #3. My third major gripe is what is wrong with drafting FBS players? Is big time college football not good enough? Are we taking on some new kind of Billy Beane Moneyball? I really cannot tell you much about Adam Shaheen outside of his combine review, but what is wrong with guys like Teez Tabor, Curtis Samuel, Juju Smith-Schuster, or Dalvin Tomlinson? All of the guys I mentioned were taken after Shaheen and filled a need. The last thing is the Chicago Bears organization was completely and totally embarrassed this weekend. Ryan Pace got absolutely worked by John Lynch — a guy who has had about 37 concussions in his career — and has essentially bet his entire football career on the arm of Mitch(ell) Trubisky. The players may very well end up being the renaissance of the Chicago Bears, but they could very easily doom the franchise for another 5-10 years and end a young career for Ryan Pace. Only time will tell and the most disappointing thing of all of this is that the draft had the potential to go so many different ways.