In 2016, outside linebacker was considered a strength for the Bears after Lamarr Houston, Willie Young and Pernell McPhee combined for 20.5 sacks. Ryan Pace drafted Leonard Floyd in the first round.
In 2017, the Bears overpaid Mike Glennon and raved about his upside (“fired up”). They signed Mark Sanchez as a competent backup. Ryan Pace drafted Mitch Trubisky.
Those moves weren’t about value dropping to them. They weren’t about “best player available”. In both instances, Pace traded up for the player and surprised many by drafting what wasn’t considered a need.
The lesson is clear. How the Bears identify their needs is not necessarily how the media and fans identify them. And it isn’t just the first round.