The draft starts with San Francisco this year at No. 3, and according to what ESPN's longtime draft gurus are hearing there is likely to be a different option at quarterback available to the Bears at the right price when the 49ers are done.
McShay published a "what he's hearing," type of column on the Monday of draft week and Kiper had a video report on ESPN echoing what was reported. They're both saying the choice for San Francisco is going to either be Mac Jones or Trey Lance at quarterback.
This is almost startling that they would ignore Justin Fields for Lance, a quarterback with no experience at a higher level of college football and some really questionable statistics from the lower level where he played.
Lance does have that blazing speed as a runner, but so does Fields. And Fields has proven he can pass against better defenses, although some question his ability to read defenses.
Fields may or not be an eventual superstar passer. However, he has been effective and his 4.4-second speed in the 40-yard dash makes it possible for him to come in as a rookie and operate an offense while leaning on his athletic ability as he learns the offensive system and how to read pro defenses.
If Fields really is going to be available, the Bears would be negligent if they failed to make an attempt to move up in the draft for him.
A problem here is also something else the ESPN duo heard from league or college sources.
The Carolina Panthers have an interest in taking Fields even though they just traded for Sam Darnold. They still do have Teddy Bridgewater under contract but this isn't expected to last beyond an attempt to trade him or an eventual release.
Since Fields failed with the Jets, it only makes sense to cover themselves. However, doing it with a first-round pick seems somewhat wasteful considering Carolina had numerous other weaknesses in a disappointing 2020 season.
Carolina could use a top running back, offensive line or defensive help anywhere. To use the first pick at No. 8 for a potential backup quarterback in 2020 wouldn't exactly provide Darnold with an infusion of confidence.
McShay did acknowledge, "...it's entirely possible that Carolina is only floating this notion to bait a team such as Denver, New England, Washington or Chicago to move up for a king's ransom."
Denver wouldn't need to pay a king's ransom since it's only one place away. The Bears and Washington would have to pay heavy prices to reach No. 8. The Patriots wouldn't be as taxed, coming from No. 15. And the duo has heard New England is more likely to trade back than up.
The opportunity to come up with Fields might be there for the Bears but it could take trading up to No. 6 with Miami or 7 with Detroit in order to do it.
The Lions aren't going to be cooperating much with their division rivals. They didn't want anything to do with Bears reported trade interest in Matthew Stafford.
Miami could be different, but the ESPN duo reported the Dolphins are thinking receiver for Tua Tagovailoa and the best receivers might still be available to them at No. 6. So moving back might not be their favorite option, even though they've been reported to have an interest in going back for more picks.
If only part of what they've heard is correct, the chance for an impactful multipurpose quarterback in Round 1 could be available to the Bears.
It would depend then on whether they want to pay what will be a steep price.