In a 53-second video shot on a beach in Florida, Tom Brady defeated the first quarterback dominoes of the 2023 offseason.
“I am retiring,” he said. “Permanently.”
That’s what it is. Aaron Rodgers, Derek Carr, and Jimmy Garoppolo could be the next contenders, in that order.
At some point, those dominoes will make it onto the team’s NFL Draft board, and the Bears are waiting for the team to seriously discuss the No. 1 pick. The supply of good quarterbacks has always lagged behind demand. So here are your draft questions and my answers.
Bears Mailbag: NFL Free Agency, Salary Cap Space Edition
Seriously, wouldn’t trade (Justin) Fields to draft the best QB and the No. 1 pick be the best move?? (Ryan) Poles and (Matt) Eberflus draft Fields did not do it. — Ron M.
I think this is a “let’s get the quarterback on his rookie deal” argument. At least, I hope so. When it comes to roster building, that philosophy is what drives his NFL today. Three of his four teams playing in the championship weekend – the 49ers, the Eagles and the Bengals – started quarterbacks on rookie contracts.
But is there a much better quarterback than Fields in this year’s class? Like Andrew Luck, Joe Burrow and Trevor Lawrence, there’s no prospect of being the number one pick.
I’m not going to pretend to be a quarterback expert. Leave it to Nate Tice and JT O’Sullivan, two former QBs and his two recent guests on the “Hoge & Jahns” podcast. They both said they would stick with Fields. Theis said the 2021 rookie version of Fields will also outperform any QB in this year’s class.
Can Bryce Young, CJ Stroud or Will Levis turn a sack into a 75-yard touchdown scramble like Fields does?
Poles and Eberflus didn’t draft Fields. Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy did. We all know what happens when a coach isn’t fully committed to the quarterback. Reference: Mitch Trubisky and Nagy.
However, everything Fields has done this season requires more time with offensive coordinator Luke Getzi. Interested in what the fields of the world look like? Poles and Eberflus certainly do. They don’t see Fields as a work in progress, but they like his progress. Pauls said Fields needs to improve as a passer. However, Fields endeared himself to his new coach and GM through his toughness, leadership, and exceptional playmaking.
Dane Brugler athleticDraft analysts rate Young as the top quarterback in the draft. Brugler lists him as 5 feet 11 pounds and 192 pounds, but his official measurements are yet to come out.
Which team do you think will have the best chance of finishing in the bottom five in 2023 among the teams that will earn a first-round pick in 2024? — Steven C.
good question. In 2018, the Raiders traded Khalil Mack to the Bears over other teams because they believed the draft selections they received were higher than others.
And they were wrong. The 2018 season was the best pace era.
The first pick trading market is still developing. The Colts, for example, are still in the process of hiring their next head coach. But they’re definitely one of the handful of teams expected to entertain the idea of going up to No. 1 to take quarterback. Colts (4th), Raiders (7th), Panthers (#9) should all be considered. Carolina’s hiring of Frank Reich as a coach definitely shows that they are considering drafting a growing quarterback.
It’s difficult to predict which team will be the worst. All three teams should be in the bottom third of the league in 2023. But every year there are surprise teams, like the Bears in 2018, the Bengals last season and the Jaguars this season. it happens.
If asked to choose one or the other, go to Las Vegas. It’s the second season for coach Josh McDaniels and GM Dave Ziegler, and Brady just announced his retirement Wednesday, so he’s not looking to save the Raiders. Or do they completely transform through the draft?
I haven’t heard much about Jaxon Smith-Njigba being a potential WR draft. He was injured this year, but the year before he was Ohio State’s best receiver (his teammate was Chris Olave). What do you think about making him an easy target in the draft?— Bryce D.
If “shooting him cheaply” means a second round, that might work. I don’t think Smith Nigba will be picked in the first round due to his injury history and lack of tapes from 2022. But Brugler has him as the third best receiver.
Last week, ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said of Smith Nigba, “There’s something missing there.” He also cited concerns scouts shared with him about Ohio receivers. Went to the Jets and Saints back to back.
With a shortage of high-end receivers, Smith Nigba could move higher up the board for teams in dire need of receiver help. The Bears are one of his on that team. But last year, he was also one when the Steelers picked him with his 52nd pick, George Pickens, when Pauls passed him twice. Pickens entered the draft despite missing almost every game in his final season in Georgia with a torn ACL. In his first year, the Poles were in no position to risk a player like that.Will that change this season? Smith-Njigba dealt with nagging hamstring issues throughout his season at Ohio State.
Should it really be a priority to stay close to Will Anderson/Jaylen Carter? Rather than taking, it makes sense to flip the 1 over to increase day 1 and 2 picks. Should we prioritize good talent to get talent we desperately need, Or should I prioritize multiple swings? – Zack A.
The Bears have had the worst pass rush in the league this season and have just seven defensive linemen under contract for 2023. The Bears need more players. But at some point in the draft, quality has to outweigh quantity. The Bears desperately need, I would argue, what Anderson can provide as an edge rusher and what Carter can do as his three-technique defensive tackle as his tackle.
This is where the Bears’ record and board come into play, though. Where do Anderson and Carter rank compared to other positions? Where will the dropoff occur? Is there even one?
To win in the NFL, you need good players. The 49ers, Chiefs, Bengals and Eagles all have it. All the best teams are, and you can find them in all parts of the draft.
The Raiders selected Max Crosby with the 106th pick in 2019. The Steelers named him TJ Watt with his 30th pick in 2017. The Chiefs selected Chris Jones with the 37th pick in 2016. And the Rams won Aaron Donald with the 13th pick in 2014. He’s four of the best defensive players in the NFL, and no player has made the top five in the draft.
Bears mock draft reaction: Is trading back and getting Jalen Carter an ideal scenario?
Draft Scenario Question: If you filled a three technique in free agency and both Carter and Anderson left after the tradeback, who would you hire at that point?— Brendan K.
It’s time to take a look at some of the best offensive linemen, including Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr., Northwestern’s Peter Skolonski and Georgia’s Broderick Jones. No matter what tradebacks there are, maintaining the chance to draft one of the best players in the position should still be a priority. Continue. Skoronski’s arm length moves him to guard several teams.
In my opinion, next season is all about Fields growing as a passer. If so, the Bears’ first priority should be OL and WR if they are to lead Fields to success. In Poles’ first draft, he targeted the secondary, so should I be concerned? — Brian L.
I will answer your second question. My short answer is no. Paul sticks to his initial draft board and has no problem with that philosophy, especially in his rebuilding first year.Paul also noted that when he listed his position as a premium for every team, cornerback mentioned about So Kyler Gordon fits in there.
Pauls said he wants to build his team first through these premium positions. His roster is nowhere near where he could be drafted if he wanted to. He has so many things on either side of the ball.
I think these draft holes that people are predicting are ridiculous for the overall No. 1. what can we really expect? — Christian C.
For now, I think we can expect these predictions to continue. Team and name change. I have a lot of anxiety. QB Domino has just started to fade with Brady’s retirement. who’s next?
With the first pick, the Bears are certainly watching every report and move.
The coaching carousel is also starting to slow down. Demeko Lyons signed a six-year contract with the Texans. Would Houston prefer drafting a quarterback from his 2024 class of talent, what about Carolina’s Reich? Does he have his eye on one of the top three quarterbacks in this class?
Then there’s the Colts in need of a QB, who’ve narrowed their list of possible head coaches to seven. The NFL news cycle never ends. At some point, the first choice will be the subject of more discussion, both in public and behind the scenes.
(Top photo: Quinn Harris/Getty Images)