Not Every Player Worth Trading Up for Is a QB

There are actually four non-quarterbacks with the kind of unique abilty worth a Bears trade up to get in Round 1

The overwhelming attention paid to the quarterback position by Bears followers and even the Bears personnel staf during this run up to the 2021 NFL Draft has focused attention on possible trades.

Moving up to acquire one of the top quarterbacks seems a possibility, but with so many holes to fill it seems far more likely they'll stand in their slot or even move down to get an extra pick.

After all, they don't have a safety starter, a legitimate slot cornerback starter and their starter at left cornerback is a 30-year-old new player to the system who has been plagued by injuries for three of the last four years.  Those are needs.

They also face a shaky situation at tackle and their tight end numbers are low, considering third tight end Demetrius Harris apparently will not be brought back.

None of this even begins to approach their desire to upgrade their speed at wide receiver. 

However, receiver for the Bears is a big want and not a need. Quarterback is the same way.

The Bears have two veteran quarterbacks capable of starting in Andy Dalton and Nick Foles. They want a young one to train under them for the future. They don't need one.

"We have a lot of experience in that room when you look at it now, when you combine Andy and Nick," general manager Ryan Pace said. "That's a lot of games in the NFL.

"It does bode well for a young quarterback in that room with the experience of those two guys and some of the accolades they have in our league."

If they are not completely desperate at quarterback, what's to stop them from considering a move up in Round 1 for a special talent at a need position?

They've always been about moving up or down throughout the draft in the past to acquire other picks or seek players they especially liked through scouting. The first round has been no different.

They did it not only with Mitchell Trubisky but when they drafted linebacker Leonard Floyd. They dealt the 11th overall pick and a fourth-round pick to Tampa Bay Buccaneers to move up to ninth and take Floyd.

There are a few players worth making prominent moves up to select in Round 1. The problem the Bears face in doing this is their lack of a fourth-round draft pick makes it so trades using a third-round or second-round pick as extra trade material would  leave them without the ability to address other need positions with viable talent.

You will not find special tackles or cornerbacks in Round 5.

If quarterback is discounted as a want and not a need, they have three basic needs positions and three picks the first two days. They need a cornerback, safety and tackle. So, moving up would be difficult. Moving down with one of the picks to acquire an extra selection might help. 

Here are the first-round players who could be worth moving up to acquire for the Bears, taking into account needs and wants.

There are a few other talents who fit into this company, but their status as being worth a move up is tempered by the fact they play positions where talent is so plentiful in this draft that a team can simply wait at a spot without moving and select a very comparable talent. 

This pertains largely to wide receivers. The crop of wide receivers in this draft is that good. Players like Jaylen Waddle and Davonta Smith might be special talents, but why waste picks moving up when someone very comparable will be there anyway?

Moving up for special players is just a matter of how far they move and what they'd be willing to surrender to do it.

1. T Penei Sewell, Oregon

The Bears might have a tackle in Charles Leno Jr., but it's a need position because he's only average and they're trying now to protect two less mobile veteran passers. They need a better blind-side blocker. It becomes an even more pressing need next year because Leno's contract expires. And if they can get a special player now, then why wait? Sewell is a special player at tackle. NFL Draft Bible calls Sewell one of the "...higher-rated offensive line prospects that we have seen in recent years." More specifically, they say he has "Quenton Nelson type dominance." Now, that' a high level of dominance. This is a 6-foot-5, 331-pounder with the athleticism to be a left tackle and size to also play right tackle. Think of a younger version of Trent Williams. If he could become the same closer on blocks that Williams is, he'd be the perfect tackle. Sewell would be an answer to Bears prayers at the position but it might be impossible to trade up for him because both the Falcons at No. 4 and the Bengals at No. 5 need  tackles. There are two or three other first-round type tackles, but none so much better than the others that they would be worth moving up to take. Christian Darrisaw might be worth a move of two or three places if he was available at No. 16 or 17 and they thought they might not get him, because he is a better all-around tackle than Samuel Cosmi of Texas, the next-best tackle.

2. TE Kyle Pitts, Florida

Normally a tight end is not even going to be a Round 1 talent, let alone a special player. And the Bears just drafted a tight end. But Pitts would be worth trading up to get, especially for the Bears. He has a rare size-speed-athleticism combination and runs routes so well that it would make him the prototype U-type tight end to fit into the Bears offense. Think of what they did with Trey Burton in their 2018 offense and multiply it by 10.  

At 6-foot-6, 246 pounds, Pitts has wide receiver 4.40-second 40-yard speed but also power and leaping ability. His route running is as great as his athleticism. NFL Draft Bible's Lorenz Leinweber says he "...can turn at 90-degree angles, separating like a wide receiver on slants, which he sets up like a fade route... ." To top it off, scouts say he blocks with expert technique both on runs and passes. His selection would be a perfect combo partner in an offense with Y-tight end Cole Kmet and would loosen up the secondary for wide receivers to roam. Taking him might require a move up to 4-6 in the draft, and doing it would kill Bears chances to address more pressing needs than tight end.

3. WR Ja'Marr Chase, LSU

The Bears wouldn't want to waste picks to take him because they have Allen Robinson, or would they? It's not often a team gets a chance at a 6-foot, 208-pound receiver who can run a 4.38-second 40, has a 41-inch vertical and broad -jumped 11 feet while owning an ability to pluck a ball downfield with his fingers. Robinson is 2 inches taller, 12 pounds heavier, ran 0.22 seconds slower in the 40, broad-jumped 5 inches shorter and had a 2-inch shorter vertical than chase. Robinson is no doubt the better contested-catch receiver but Chase can do this well and has breakaway speed Robinson doesn't posssess. He averaged 21.2 yards a catch at LSU in 2019 before opting out last year. Justin Jefferson made the Pro Bowl his first season and Chase is faster, with a better vertical leap and roughly the same size. He's an inch shorter and 6 pounds heavier.

4. CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina

There is an adequate supply of talented first-round cornerbacks and Caleb Farney might rate right with Horn except for past injury issues. With perfect size (6-1, 205) and speed (4.39 40), Horn also has a 41 1/2-inch vertical leap and plays with effortless textbook technique. He's also a cornerback NFL Draft Bible describes as "incredibly physical." If the Bears were very serious about filling the great need at left cornerback, and at nipping a potential problem in the bud before it becomes too great, they would give serious thought to moving up into the top 10 for Horn. He would be an immediate upgrade over even the 2017-18 version of Fuller.

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