Apparently the biggest surprise of the first round was that the Bears traded up to grab Mitch Trubisky. I say apparently because I learned of this news in the early morning while in Amsterdam and was initially unaware of all the hoopla. Granted, I was certainly surprised when I heard this. Did the Bears really need to give up multiple draft picks to move up one spot? Plus, based on all the mock drafts out there, no one seemed to think that Trubisky would wind up with Chicago.
But then I heard about all the Bears fans freaking out. Draft analysts were declaring that Chicago got “fleeced.” SI’s Chris Burke gave the Trubisky selection a D. It seems like there hasn’t been as much negativity surrounding a highly-drafted quarterback since Donovan McNabb was drafted by the Eagles.
McNabb, of course, went on to have a
terrible very good career. But if we went back to 1999 and looked back at the “grade” for the McNabb pick immediately after the draft, I bet it would have been a C or lower.
There are numerous examples of experts making these sort of declarative statements every single year. Oftentimes they are wrong. Bleacher Report gave the Atlanta Falcons a C in the 2011 draft because they traded up to get Julio Jones. Matt Miller, another writer for Bleacher Report, was “not a fan” of Carolina’s selection of Luke Kuechly in 2012; so he gave the Panthers a B-. But most notably of all, you can find numerous articles online about all the times Mel Kiper Jr. has swung and missed badly. Ryan Leaf’s attitude will be an asset in the NFL…JaMarcus Russell could be the next John Elway…if Jimmy Clausen isn’t a successful starting quarterback in the NFL, I’m done. That’s it. I’m out. How come he wasn’t one of the recent casualties at ESPN?
I’m not saying that nobody should express their thoughts and even make predictions after the draft. That’s fine. Yet given how hard it is to determine which players will succeed and which will fail, they should be made with more perspective. And with this in mind, I’ll turn back to Trubisky. I’m not the biggest fan of him. If I was Ryan Pace, the Bears’ GM, I certainly would not have taken him with the number three overall pick. I would’ve tried to trade down and take DeShaun Watson.
But for all those saying that the Bears are one of the “losers” of the draft, what if Trubisky succeeds? Because if he delivers and becomes a “franchise” quarterback, then no one is going to remember those third and fourth round picks the Bears traded to the 49ers. But the Bears didn’t need to give away those picks. True. But they also need a franchise quarterback. I think that’s more important than a few mid-round picks.
So if Chicago thinks that Trubisky is the answer, so be it. Trade as many mid-round picks as you can to get a guy that can take you deep into the playoffs. Because whenever you draft a quarterback in the first round, and especially that highly in the draft, it’s going to set you back for at least a couple years if he fails anyway. You’ll have to be obligated to him for at least two seasons, and potentially a couple more than that. You’ll have to “give him time” even after he throws 18 interceptions and leads your team to a 5-11 record in his second season. And if he’s still bad after three years, only then will you think about getting rid of him.
Based on everything the experts have been saying over the past 24 hours, I actually hope that Trubisky succeeds now. He’ll just be further evidence as to why post-draft hot takes are bullshit.