The Chicago Bears have a quarterback problem.
Two quarterbacks who are franchise cornerstones for their respective teams.
The 2021 draft class has some potential franchise QBs.
Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State’s Justin Fields are the headliners but there are some solid options behind them.
With the Bears currently projected to have the 13th overall pick, here are three options for Chicago.
1. Zach Wilson (BYU, Jr.)
The New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars are in need of a quarterback.
It is widely assumed they will be selecting Lawrence and Fields at 1 and 2, respectively.
With those two expected to be off the board by 13, nobody has risen their draft stock in 2020 more than Zach Wilson.
The BYU product has above-average mobility with average arm strength.
However, he has a relatively small frame and could add strength once he enters the NFL.
After displaying some accuracy issues in his first two seasons, he seems to have fixed that issue this season.
- Fr. – 9 Games, 120/182 (65.9% completion), 1,578 yards, 12 TD, 3 INT
- So. – 9 Games, 199/319 (62.4% completion), 2,382 yards, 11 TD, 9 INT
- Jr. – 9 Games, 176/237 (74.3% completion), 2,724 yards, 26 TD, 2 INT
Wilson has set new career highs in completion percentage, yards, and touchdowns while throwing the fewest picks of his collegiate career.
Highest accurate pass % on 20+ yard throws
1⃣ Zach Wilson, BYU – 78%
2⃣ Sam Howell, UNC – 59%
3⃣ Trevor Lawrence, Clemson – 57%
4⃣ Kyle Trask, Florida – 53% pic.twitter.com/p2W3xwCE1E
— PFF College (@PFF_College) December 5, 2020
One NFC executive told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that Wilson is the “most intriguing of them all…confident passer whose ball jumps off of his hand.”
Scouts are high on his mobility and ability to make plays outside of the pocket – a key skill for today’s QB.
Most mock drafts have Wilson going in the 6 – 9 range, so Chicago may have to find a trade partner to move up.
If the Bears are not all-in on Wilson, there are some other prospects that could fall into their lap later in the draft.
2. Trey Lance (NDSU, RS So.)
The other first-round target for the Bears is the redshirt sophomore from North Dakota State, Trey Lance.
Many have him labeled as the 4th best QB prospect, but he may be the one with the most upside as he is only 20 years old.
— NFL Draft Diamonds (@DraftDiamonds) October 22, 2020
The Bison only played 1 game this season so scouts will be relying on his 2019 season and individual workouts for tape to review.
Lance had an impressive 2019 campaign: 192/287 (66.9% completion) for 2,786 yards, 28 TDs, and 0 INTs.
He also added 169 carries for 1,100 yards (6.5 yards-per-carry) and 14 TDs.
The dual-threat label is what makes Lance so enticing to franchises.
“Everything about him is positive: talented and physical runner,” an AFC executive told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
Lance has solid throwing mechanics and above-average arm strength which helps him throwing the deep ball and fitting throws into tight-windows.
The downside is he is very young and will need time to develop, ideally behind a veteran QB.
The Bears have Nick Foles signed through 2022 and could provide the perfect learning opportunity for Lance.
Foles is a Super Bowl champion and a highly-regarded teammate by his peers.
3. Mac Jones (Alabama, Jr.)
If the Bears don’t like the QB options available in round 1, they can find a prospect in round 2.
Alabama’s Mac Jones has certainly proven himself an NFL-caliber QB this year with the Crimson Tide.
In 2020, Jones has a stat-line of 173/227 (76.2% completion) for 2,728 yards, 23 TDs, and 3 INTs in 8 games.
Most of that coming against SEC defenses.
Mac Jones delivers another Heisman level performance 😤 pic.twitter.com/FefzlS5tD7
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 28, 2020
While he is not very mobile, he is a strong pocket passer with a high football-IQ and typically makes the correct read.
Jones has solid mechanics and is not afraid of standing in the pocket to deliver the ball while getting hit.
While he may not have the flash of the big-name prospects, he may be the most NFL-ready prospect if Chicago wants a prospect they can play immediately.