With Jay Cutler entering the last year of his contract, the Bears would be wise to grab a quarterback in this year's NFL draft.
The 2013 NFL draft has been criticized for lacking a true franchise quarterback in its pool of prospects. And while players like Geno Smith, Matt Barkley and Tyler Wilson will all challenge for first-round consideration, none of them possess the can't-miss qualities of 2012's Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III.
The Chicago Bears won't be in the early-round quarterback market, nor should they be. But with Jay Cutler entering the final year of his contract, the Bears would be wise to bring in a mid-to-late-round prospect in an effort to catch lightning in a bottle.
As the roster currently stands, Cutler can hold the Bears hostage.
Having a talented young passer behind Cutler will allow the Bears' front office and new coaching staff to evaluate the seven-year pro from a less-than-panicked position.
Cutler is the Bears franchise quarterback. And there's no reason to suggest that he won't be re-signed to a long-term contract and continue on his quest toward bringing a Lombardi Trophy to the Windy City.
But what if he does leave?
The Bears cannot take Cutler, or the quarterback position, for granted. They need to re-sign No. 6 while at the same time building a roster that takes his departure into consideration.
The following are five quarterback prospects that should be available to the Bears between rounds four through six in the 2013 NFL draft.
Matt Scott would be an intriguing option for the Chicago Bears in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL draft.
Matt Scott looks tailor-made to run Marc Trestman's fast-paced passing offense.
He is an accurate passer on short and intermediate routes and has the necessary velocity to get the ball to his receiver in a hurry.
At times, however, Scott can put too much arm behind his throws, causing the ball to sail above the receiver's head.
Scott is one of the better athletes at the quarterback position in the 2013 NFL draft. He ran for over 500 yards and six touchdowns in 2012 and his performance at the scouting combine confirmed the athleticism he displays on film.
Scott has lot of similarities to Rich Gannon, the former Raider quarterback who was at the helm of Trestman's offense during his 2002 MVP season.
Scott is likely to be drafted anywhere between the end of Day 2 and beginning of Day 3. If the Wildcat quarterback is still on the board when the Bears pick in round four, he would be an ideal candidate to add to the quarterback depth behind Jay Cutler.
Landry Jones might not be an elite quaterback prospect, but he would offer good value in the fifth round.
He was even in the discussion as a possible first pick overall.
While Jones is a solid quarterback prospect, he's simply not a first-round player. In fact, at this point he will be fortunate to hear his name called by the end of Day 2.
But that doesn't mean he doesn't have a future in the NFL. He does...if he lands on the right team.
Jones has a strong enough arm to make every throw required by an NFL quarterback. However, his game won't feature a lot of accurate deep balls. He's likely to excel in the short-to-intermediate passing game, and much like Matt Scott, could fit really well in Marc Trestman's fast-paced attack.
Jones is a prospect that the Bears should consider if he is still on the board in round five. Selecting the Sooner quarterback any higher than that would be a reach.
Tyler Bray has one of the strongest arms of all the quarterbacks in the 2013 NFL draft.
Standing 6'6" tall, Tyler Bray is the prototype quarterback when it comes to size and arm strength. But he won't be a first-round pick. In fact, he might slip all the way to Day 3.
Bray has a tendency to struggle in the face of pressure and has a reputation for having a bad attitude.
But it's not as if the Bears aren't used to a quarterback with attitude issues, right?
If Bray can be had in the fifth or sixth round, then the Bears should give him serious consideration. There's a chance that he will go much earlier in the draft, with some media outlets projecting Bray as a second or third-round pick.
It seems like an annual NFL draft tradition that a player slides much farther than analysts expect.
And that could be the case with this strong-armed Volunteer quarterback.
While it might be dangerous to put Bray in the same quarterback room as Jay Cutler, his value in round five or six would simply be too high to pass up.
Zac Dysert would be the ideal developmental quarterback to learn behind Jay Cutler.
If the Chicago Bears want to draft a truly developmental quarterback somewhere on Day 3, Miami University's Zac Dysert could fit the bill.
A four-year starter at the position, Dysert possesses a nice combination of a competent NFL arm and above-average athletic ability. In some respects, Dysert is similar to Jay Cutler.
While Dysert's arm strength and overall velocity is not on the level of Cutler's, his ability to move around the pocket and find the open receiver is similar to the Bears' starter.
Dysert, much like the other quarterbacks on this list, excels in the short and intermediate passing game and wasn't asked to throw the deep ball too often during his time as the Redhawks' starter. That said, he has flashed plenty of ability in that area, and should be able to develop a well-rounded game after a few years of development in the NFL.
Dysert is likely to be selected somewhere around the fifth round. If, however, he slides into the sixth round, the Bears should consider making the move to grab him.
Jordan Rodgers not only played his college ball at the same school as Jay Cutler, but he could provide some insight to his brother, Aaron Rodgers', game.
Jordan Rodgers' natural talent at the quarterback position won't be confused with his brother Aaron's anytime soon.
He's simply not as gifted.
But it doesn't mean he's not a legitimate NFL prospect and a player worthy of trying to develop on your roster.
If the Bears were to select Rodgers, there would be immediate camaraderie in the locker room, as Jay Cutler is a fellow Vanderbilt alum. There would be an unspoken bond between the two players.
And having Cutler bond with his understudy can only help the young player develop.
And let's not ignore the fact that Rodgers' big brother happens to be the star quarterback of the Bears' biggest rival.
Could the fact that his younger brother is playing for the Bears get inside the head of the Packers' Rodgers?
Doubt it. But Bears fans can always hope.
Rodgers (Vanderbilt) is one of those players that will be overlooked on draft day. He is going to slip deep into Day 3, and there's even a chance that he could go undrafted. While it's unlikely that the Bears would draft Rodgers in the sixth round, if Chicago commences a draft-day trade and acquires a seventh rounder (or two), don't be surprised to hear Rodgers' name called.