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Rebuilding Bears Look Officially Lost Drafting Mitchell Trubisky 2nd Overall

Brad Gagnon@Brad_Gagnon NFL National ColumnistApril 28, 2017

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 27:  (L-R) Mitchell Trubisky of North Carolina poses with Commissioner of the National Football League Roger Goodell after being picked #2 overall by the Chicago Bears (from 49ers) during the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on April 27, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Once in a while, a big, awkward basketball forward with a low shooting percentage inexplicably puts up a three-pointer with 20 seconds on the shot clock, causing fans to scream in frustration. 

When those shots go in, said fans are forced to adjust their reaction on the fly. The result is something along the lines of, "Noooooyesssss." A ridiculous decision had a positive outcome. 

Early in the 2017 NFL draft, the Chicago Bears were that big, awkward forward. The decision to trade third- and fourth-round picks in 2017 and a third-round pick in 2018 to move up one spot from No. 3 to No. 2 to draft quarterback Mitchell Trubisky was undoubtedly ridiculous. 

It was ridiculous because that's a lot to give up considering there was a good chance they could have had Trubisky with the third overall pick anyway. It was ridiculous because Trubisky is far from being a sure thing after starting just 13 games in his college career. It was ridiculous because the Bears are riddled with holes at other positions, and because they handed 27-year-old quarterback Mike Glennon a three-year, $45 million contract just last month. 

JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 20: Mike Glennon #8 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throws the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars during a preseason game on August 20, 2016 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. Tampa Bay defeated Jacksonville 27-21. (Photo
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

The pick indicates the Bears lack direction, or at least focus.

Glennon's salary signifies the Bears believed in March he should be their starter, and that they can compete with him under center. But selling the farm for Trubisky shows they believe he should be their starter. Have they already changed their mind?

The choice now: Pay $15 million to your backup quarterback, or sit a quarterback you just forfeited a No. 3 overall pick and three other prime draft choices for. Neither makes sense, especially for a team coming off a three-win season in which its defense ranked 24th in points allowed. The Bears don't have the luxury, which again reveals just how ridiculous this was. 

And yet because the NFL draft is a special kind of crapshoot, that ridiculous decision could easily have a positive outcome. 

That's because if you wind up with a franchise quarterback, nobody cares how you got him. Lie, cheat, steal, trade away three valuable draft picks to swap selections with the team one spot ahead of you even though doing so might not have been necessary. Doesn't matter. And Trubisky certainly has the ability to become a franchise quarterback for the Bears. 

Despite starting just one full season at North Carolina, the 6'2", 222-pounder might be the most polished signal-caller in this draft class. Athletic and accurate with a quick release, refined mechanics and superb footwork, he's coming off a junior season in which he threw 30 touchdown passes to only six interceptions. 

Mitchell Trubisky's junior season
Comp.%TD-INTYardsYPARating
Total68.030-63,7488.4157.9
National rank6th6th10th18th11th
sports-reference

Trubisky looks and feels like a future NFL star, and it's clear a lot of teams and experts have the same impression. 

So yes, he could spend some time working with/behind Glennon, honing his blitz recognition and reaction skills and learning an NFL offense. And he could blossom into a franchise quarterback. If that happens, Bears fans will mock themselves for the fury they're feeling right now. They'll forget those third- and fourth-round picks ever existed. They'll forget Glennon existed. 

If the ridiculous decision has a positive outcome, Bears fans will perform an extended version of "Noooooyesssss," and they'll laugh about it. 

But the reality is a lot of first-round picks who look and feel like future NFL stars don't become NFL stars. In fact, at the quarterback position, the pick pans out less than half the time. 

While we can't call any of them busts yet, the jury remains out on 2016 first-round quarterbacks Jared Goff (who was a mess as a rookie), Carson Wentz (who faded after a hot start) and Paxton Lynch (who hardly saw the field). 

In the 10 drafts that preceded that one, 26 quarterbacks were selected in the first round. Only 10 of those 26 are NFL starters right now. Only 14 are currently under contract with NFL teams. Only one—Joe Flacco—has won a Super Bowl.

Quarterbacks drafted in Round 1, 2006-15
NumberCurrent NFL startersBackupsNot under contract
1Jameis WinstonTeddy BridgewaterJohnny Manziel
2Marcus MariotaEJ ManuelRobert Griffin III
3Blake BortlesBrandon WeedenJake Locker
4Andrew LuckMark SanchezBlaine Gabbert
5Ryan TannehillChristian Ponder
6Cam NewtonTim Tebow
7Sam BradfordJosh Freeman
8Matthew StaffordJaMarcus Russell
9Matt RyanBrady Quinn
10Joe FlaccoVince Young
11Matt Leinart
12Jay Cutler
pro-football-reference

Trubisky could be like one of those 10. He could become an Andrew Luck or a Cam Newton, a Matthew Stafford or a Matt Ryan. But he could just as easily become a Robert Griffin III or a Jake Locker, a Mark Sanchez or a Matt Leinart. 

If Trubisky fails to join that first group, this ridiculous move won't have a positive outcome. And a Bears team that appears to be making things up as it goes along will pay the price with an extended rebuild. It'll either hit the jackpot or set itself back several years, which is unfortunate considering the risk itself might have been unnecessary. 

General manager Ryan Pace and head coach John Fox could wind up lucking into a "Noooooyesssss." But even if that happens, don't be fooled into believing this is some sort of stroke of genius. It was a bad decision made by a lost team, with the outcome to be determined. 

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