Addressing a Real Need

Cornerback probably is the greatest Bears need and Sports Illustrated's mock draft 3.0 found one for them at No. 20, just not the best one.
Author:
Publish date:

It's a case of addressing greater need over lesser need.

Sports Illustrated's mock draft 3.0 by Jenny Vrentas landed the Bears a familiar Chicago area player, and at a position where they need help in the worst way.

The pick in this one-round mock draft on Tuesday was Northwestern cornerback Greg Newsome II. The Bears have seen him work out and play, as he's just down the road from Halas Hall in Evanston.

"The Bears' roster has many needs, none larger than QB, but their draft slot, plus the expected early run on the top-five passers, make them ill-positioned to take one in the first round," Vrentas wrote. "Newsome, who has generated a lot of predraft buzz, would help Chicago's defense replace Kyle Fuller."

All of this is true except possibly the fact quarterback is their largest need.

The fact they don't have a top-level quarterback is undeniable. That's not a roster hole. The quarterbacks they have at least are healthy, veteran professionals. 

The Bears have a cornerback situation where they're counting on a player who hasn't been very good in the last five years and has been injured in three of those five seasons. That's Desmond Trufant. This is a much larger position weakness than one where they're using two capable veteran quarterbacks, including one who was a Super Bowl MVP.  

Pro Football Focus had Andy Dalton ranked ahead of Tua Tagovailoa, Ben Roethlisberger and Carson Wentz. The Colts gave up a second- and third-round pick for Wentz and no one is saying he is a roster hole. No one is saying it about Tagovailoa, either.

There's a difference between having no one, having someone and having someone spectacular to play the position. Too many people think not having Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers or Josh Allen means you have no quarterback. 

Trufant last played more than five games in succession in 2018 and is now in his 30s. His passer rating against when targeted during each of the last two seasons when he did play was over 100, according to NFL stat partner Sportradar.

As for the choice at cornerback in this case, Newsome is a good one. He's just not the best one.

Plenty of analysts have Virginia Tech's Caleb Farley rated a superior player and possibly the best cornerback in the entire draft. He's been rated by Mel Kiper as No. 1, better even than Patrick Surtain and Jaycee Horn. 

Sports Illustrated's FanNation website NFL Draft Bible ranks Farley better than Newsome, too. Newsome is ranked as a second-round pick by them.

Farley's problem is the back issue he had and this might create too much uncertainty for teams, although he did have it repaired with a successful discectomy.

Vrentas did not overlook Farley. She has him drafted two places after the Bears pick at No. 22 to the Tennessee Titans.

The other potential pick passed on by the Bears in this mock to take NewsomeThe 21st pick was tackle Teven Jenkins of Oklahoma State, going to Indianapolis.

Tackle is another Bears need. Cornerback probably is greater.

Quarterback?

That's what Russell Wilson is for in 2022.

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven