There are two sides to just about everything; two ways to look at things in almost every situation.
That is especially true in something that can’t be proven for years to come.
So because it takes a minimum of two, and usually closer to three, years before you can truly evaluate an NFL draft class, final evaluations on a team’s draft effort is often argued back and forth for months – and months, and months.
The effort in the 2017 draft by the Chicago Bears will be an easy target in that department. Mostly because it hinges on just a couple of key issues – is Mitch Trubisky a future elite quarterback, and did they fill enough of the gaping holes that has had them mired in mediocrity (at best).
So in the case of the Bears’ draft this year, it’s easy for me to cram both the pros and the cons into one column.
Craziest Bears’ draft-day trade ever
Pro: No matter how many mid- to late-round draft picks you surrendered, if Trubisky turns into a top-10 quarterback in the league, it will all be forgotten.
He’s one of those mystery pieces that we are not quite sure when he will fit in, and exactly how much of a difference he will eventually make.
He had only one season in college as the starter, but in that season he set single-season school records for passing yards (3,748), touchdowns (30) and total offense (4,056 yards). If he translates to the next level and stars in the NFL, general manager Ryan Pace and head coach John Fox will get raises.
Con: However, Pace and Fox have both mortgaged their futures in Chicago on that one draft pick. The team’s lackluster performance in the standings during both of their tenures – the Bears are 14-34 in the three years that Pace and Fox have been in Chicago – has put them in win-or-hit-the-road mode, and they don’t have long leashes anymore.
If Trubisky doesn’t come around, and rather quickly, one or both will be gone soon after. In the back of their minds they are probably hoping he comes around in a hurry, too, because if he takes too long, it just may be too long for them.
Lots of needs to address
Pro: The Bears needed to draft a quarterback, and boy they sure did. But they also had a lot of other holes to fill, and they chipped away at a couple in the draft.
The Bears went ahead and filled needs at tight end (second-round pick Adam Shaheen out of Division II Ashland) and safety (fourth-rounder Eddie Jackson from Alabama) rather quickly.
Con: Chicago didn’t even go after a defensive back until the 112th overall pick. And while Jackson should turn into a starter, this was a very deep draft in terms of DBs, and most definitely top heavy on ball hawks. That is what the Bears needed, and a lot of them, after trailing all other teams with just 11 takeaways on defense last year.
Then they used their last two picks on a running back, with Jordan Howard coming back after rushing for the second most yards among rookie backs, and a guard,…