The Dannehy Draft Big Board

| April 25th, 2017

Last time I guessed what the Bears draft board looks like, I didn’t think a quarterback was on it. Now, not only do I think a QB is on it, I think it revolves around the position.

The more I thought about it, the more quarterback made sense for the Bears. It’s the biggest need on the team and there are players who are absolutely worth the third pick (especially if Jared Goff was worth the first pick last year). The signing of Mike Glennon buys them time and, if Glennon plays well, they won’t have trouble trading him for a first round pick next offseason.

Which QB the Bears may like is anybody’s guess. And people have guessed everybody. Within the span of five days, Eric Galko of Sporting News went from writing that Deshaun Watson was their favorite to tweeting that they preferred Patrick Mahomes. The next day it was reported that the Cleveland Browns were convinced the Bears were going to take Mitchell Trubisky. Nobody knows and anybody who says they do is full of it.

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Chicago Bears Big Board

| March 15th, 2017

I just don’t think the Bears are going to take a quarterback with the third pick.

Through the first two waves of free agency, I saw Pace as someone who was just trying to plug as many holes as he could so that they could pick up some wins and he’d get a chance to keep building the team next offseason. George McCaskey made it clear that he isn’t patient and I think Pace heard that message. Mike Glennon is a reliable player who Pace hopes can be just good enough to get him to next offseason.

It’s possible that Pace sees upside in Glennon; sees him as somebody who could potentially be the answer. Realistically, I think Pace is just hoping Glennon can buy him more time.

My hunch is that Pace has ID’d his answer and it’s Jimmy Garoppolo. Drafting a quarterback in the first round this year would mean he couldn’t realistically go after Garoppolo next year. Sticking with Glennon and a QB drafted later leaves all options on the table.

Even if it’s not Garoppolo, I haven’t gotten any indication that he believes the answer is among the guys available early in this draft. Pace had made comments about valuing decision making (Watson), experience (Trubisky) and elevating their teams and programs (Kizer and Mahomes). Perhaps those were all part of a smoke screen. But I’m not betting on it. I do think the Bears will draft a quarterback at some point but my guess is Pace will view that player in the same light he sees Glennon – someone who could be the answer, but probably isn’t.

If it were up to me, Deshaun Watson would be the pick, but it isn’t up to me and here’s how I think the Bears have their big board stacked at this point:

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The Chicago Bears Big Board by Andrew Dannehy

| March 22nd, 2016

Jan 12, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) runs with the ball against Oregon Ducks defensive back Erick Dargan (4) during the first quarter in the 2015 CFP National Championship Game against the Oregon Ducks at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears almost certainly have their own big board made up and, while we have no idea who is on it or where they land, this is my best guess.

First, a few things I considered:

• Every GM says they’ll take the best player available and I’m sure they intend to do just that. But in their ideal world the best player available would also fill a need. So, yes, need was a priority.

• I don’t pretend to be a scout, so most of these ranks are based on consensus combined with what I know about what the Bears prefer.

• The Bears prefer players with long arms. Look at pretty much every player they have brought in. Arm length is a big deal to them. Players who might be rated highly, but would have to be exceptions for the Bears include Shaq Lawson and Vernon Hargreaves. Maybe they’d make an exception for either of those players but I’m not betting on it.

• Ryan Pace always talks about explosive playmakers, so I gave preference to guys who either hurt the other team’s quarterback or help the Bears.

• I hate when people say he’s not going to be there but, for the purpose of this, I eliminated players who pretty much everyone thinks will be picked before the Bears are on the clock. They include: Laremy Tunsil, Joey Bosa, Myles Jack and Jalen Ramsey.

Without further adieu…

Bears Big Board

1. DeForest Buckner, DL, Oregon. There isn’t a more perfect fit for what the Bears need and want right now. He’d give them three good defensive linemen who can stop the run and provide at least some pass rush.

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