Bears general manager Ryan Pace has been busy fielding calls and making them when it comes to trading the third overall pick in this year’s draft.
“Everything’s on the table … and I think that just gives us flexibility,” Pace said Wednesday. “People always ask, ‘Have you received calls?’ That’s going on a lot right now with every team and that’s not unusual. Even after the first round, it’ll go on for our fourth pick in the second round, that will continue, so that’s just part of what we’re doing. Sometimes it’s teams just fishing, feeling their way, sometimes there’s serious questions.”
Trading back is enticing for a number of reasons, starting with this being a very deep draft, particularly at safety, cornerback, tight end and edge rusher. The more picks the better.
But trading back also has its difficulties. New 49ers GM John Lynch made similar statements about trade conversations for the second overall pick. The Titans (fifth), Jets (sixth) and Panthers (ninth) also are among teams reportedly looking to move back.
Three or four quarterbacks are expected to go in the first round, but the lack of a true standout worth trading up for also complicates matters. That said, things can change on Thursday when teams have to take action and have a particular quarterback in mind.
“It’s no different than any year,” Pace said. “Teams are calling us; we’re calling teams. It feels normal right now. It hasn’t been abnormal at all.”
Moving around in the draft definitely isn’t new for Pace. He did that plenty last year. The Bears traded up to select outside linebacker Leonard Floyd at No. 9 and later traded back in the second round, eventually taking center Cody Whitehair at No. 56.
“You get more and more comfortable with it, just the relationships you have with other GMs around the league as far as moving around within the draft,” Pace said. “For example, last year I felt real comfortable with that and that gets more comfortable the more times you do things.
“By the end of the day, we might have 10 reports on a player, and it’s the ability to take all that information in, and then come to the right conclusion and the right final grade for our board.”