Analysis: A look at the decisions Bears face with No. 3 pick
It’s best to be prepared for everything.
It’s why the Bears hosted quarterback Jameis Winston two years ago, even though it was presumed he would be the No. 1 overall pick by the Buccaneers.
And it’s why general manager Ryan Pace met with outside linebacker Myles Garrett before his recent pro day at Texas A&M.
Garrett still is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick, but the Browns reportedly are split between him and North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
As always, the draft is unpredictable. With that in mind, here’s a look at five decisions the Bears face with the No. 3 overall pick:
QB or no QB?
Opinions are mixed about the quarterback class, especially because it lacks Winston- and Andrew Luck-like talents.
But if the Bears feel strongly about a quarterback — if they have conviction, as Pace would say — then they should draft him.
The No. 3 pick might be the Bears’ only chance at taking Trubisky, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson or Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer. If they value one of them at No. 3, they should stand by their evaluations. There isn’t a more important position.
That said, taking a quarterback would run contrary to what the Bears already have done this offseason. Mike Glennon’s three-year contract is basically a one-year financial commitment, but the Bears have raved about him. He’s not seen as a ‘‘bridge’’ quarterback.
Thomas or Allen?
Beyond Garrett, Stanford’s Solomon Thomas and Alabama’s Jonathan Allen are considered the best players for a team’s defensive front seven.
It’s also apparent the Bears are building their team from front to back on both sides of the ball.
Upside, based on athleticism and character, matters at this point. Pace drafted receiver Kevin White and outside linebacker Leonard Floyd because of it.
In this instance, Thomas would seem to fit Pace’s upside mold better. A growing buzz about Thomas has resulted in many pundits saying the 49ers will take him if they keep the No. 2 pick.
Coach John Fox’s input still matters, too. When Fox’s previous teams, the Panthers and Broncos, had top-three picks in the past, they selected pass rushers Julius Peppers (No. 2 in 2002) and Von Miller (No. 2 in 2011).
Picking a safety
Since 2004, only two safeties have been top-five picks: Sean Taylor (Redskins, fifth in 2004) and Eric Berry (Chiefs, fifth in 2010).
Do LSU’s Jamal Adams and Ohio State’s Malik Hooker belong in the same conversation? Maybe, but the Bears have to weigh their talents against a strong class of safeties, too.
From Ed Reed to Eric Weddle to Darren Woodson, history says great safeties can be found later in the first round and beyond.
If the pick is between Adams and Hooker, Adams might have the edge because of his durability and intangibles.
Taking the top cornerback
It’s a great year to need a cornerback. Some evaluators think longtime starters can be found as late as the third and fourth rounds.
At No. 3, though, the Bears’ thought process starts with Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore, who widely is considered to be the best cornerback in the draft.
Picking Lattimore might be an easy decision if he didn’t have a history of hamstring injuries. He also didn’t make it through the combine because of a hip-flexor issue.
A trade might seem unlikely, but all it takes is one team to fall in love with one player. And it doesn’t have to be a quarterback.
Since 2000, three teams have traded for the No. 3 pick:
• The Redskins selected offensive tackle Chris Samuels (via the 49ers) in 2000.
• The Browns took running back Trent Richardson (via the Vikings) in 2012.
• The Dolphins chose outside linebacker Dion Jordan (via the Raiders) in 2013.
If the Browns select Trubisky, plenty of trade conversations might follow.
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