Four Potential Backups for the Bears in the 2013 NFL Draft

Andrew Garda@andrew_gardaFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2013

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 30:  Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears escapes the rush of Willie Young #79 of the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on December 30, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. Chicago won the game 26-24. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

With the news that Jason Campbell has signed with the Cleveland Browns, the Chicago Bears are back to square one for a backup quarterback.

After a 2011 season featuring an injured Jay Cutler and no reasonable backup to him led to a crushing collapse, the Bears tried to upgrade with Campbell for 2012.

So now that Campbell is gone, what do they do?

It's time to look for a long-term solution, not another Band-Aid. This year, the Bears should look for a serious back-up in the NFL draft.

The tricky question is, whom do they pick?

I have four very solid options who not only can develop quickly, but be drafted in the mid-rounds.


Landry Jones, Oklahoma

Jones is exactly who he has always appeared to be—a solid quarterback with very limited upside who can come in and produce, especially in an offense that wants to pass the ball.

Sounds to me like 1) a perfect back-up for 2) a team like the Bears who will probably be looking to throw a lot under new coach Marc Trestman.

There's very little to outright dislike about Jones, but there's also little to get excited about. Jones has a fine arm, decent accuracy, more mobility than you expect at first glance but loses a lot of strength when he doesn't plant his feet, aims more than throws the ball and can hold the ball too long.

I don't see Jones as a likely pro quarterback, but I do see him as an excellent back-up—and early on in his career.

Jones is a guy you'll probably be able to get on Day 3, probably in the fourth round. He could go earlier, but I wouldn't pull the trigger on that.


Zac Dysert, Miami (Ohio)

Dysert does a good job when throwing the ball, with clean mechanics, solid arm strength and very good touch on longer passes.

At Miami (Ohio), Dysert worked mostly out of the shotgun, so he has some adjustments to make in terms of proving he can be effective under center. Like Jones, he's able to run when he needs to though he isn't a "read-option/pistol" quarterback by any means.

His accuracy also dips pretty far down when he has to throw while running.

Dysert threw to a lot of underneath routes and the feeling is that the offense had to be simplified for him—never a good sign for a starter.

However, as a back-up, Dysert could flourish. Trestman has a good history of finding ways to help quarterbacks max out their potential and while Dysert has the overall tools, he needs refinement.

OTAs and training camp would get him at least to the point of being able to hold the fort for a couple of games if they needed him to play this coming season.

Like Jones, I can see Dysert being an option on the third day of the draft, though I'd be more comfortable with him as a fifth-round pick than Landry's fourth-round grade.


Matt Scott, Arizona

Ladies and gentlemen, can I introduce you to the Draft Media's Darling of 2013—Matt Scott.

Every year a player catches the eyes of some analysts and becomes the 'super duper sleeper' pick of the year.

While I like Scott, I'm not slobbering over him.

I like his arm strength and velocity, as well as his general accuracy, though when he misses on a throw, it's a mess. He tends to toss the ball high and leave his receivers open to some big hits and in the NFL, probably more than a few interceptions.

He's a tough guy, which he has to be since he is built a little lean and is willing to run when he has to. He has to find a way to avoid the big hits which come with scrambling or bulk up to withstand them.

The other issue is that he played in an offense at Arizona which is pretty far from a pro-style offense, so he'll need a little more time to adjust even as a backup.

I do like his upside quite a bit and could absolutely see the Bears getting him as a fourth- or fifth-rounder.


Tyler Bray, Tennessee

Bray is actually the "safest" of the four, but that might also make him the most "expensive." I've seen him graded in the third round and let's be honest—back-up quarterback is not that high of a need.

Still if he were there in the fourth round, the Bears would have to give him strong consideration.

Bray has a powerful arm and a lot of confidence—like many analysts, I see a lot of Jay Cutler in him to be honest. He doesn't have a ton of touch on his passes, but he can drive the ball with tremendous accuracy and is very accurate long.

He does struggle with his release point—something that, if adjusted, could improve his game significantly. You could have an uphill battle, though, as his fundamentals are really sloppy at times, which means you won't just be fixing one thing, but multiple aspects of his game.

Bray also has the tendency to open his receivers up to some big hits and when it comes to scrambling, he's incredibly slow-footed.

Still, if the Bears could fix the pocket and give him time, he might be the best fit.

On the other hand, there's a chance the price tag won't be worth the pick, relative to other needs and value on the board. (I was reminded the Bears even have a third round pick to use on Bray, so they'll have to think long and hard in the fourth)

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