The Bears are unlikely to pick a quarterback first, ESPN analyst Todd McShay said Friday, for two reasons. Neither Jameis Winston nor Marcus Mariota will be available when they draft at No. 7, he said. McShay added had not heard “serious rumblings” the Bears probably would trade up to change that.
“My guess is (Jay) Cutler will be the starter going into the year, and you have to continue to build around him,” he said. “If Kevin White was there at 7, he’d probably be the best option.”
The West Virginia wide receiver has been a popular mock draft selection for the Bears, who will look to replace Brandon Marshall. But the Bears could go in any number of directions, McShay said.
“They’re an intriguing team,” he said. “Nose tackle is certainly a spot you can look at. Inside linebacker is an area you’d like to improve. Wide receiver, ideally you’d like to bring in a No. 2 guy. And then there’s safety and corner and right tackle.”
McShay painted a scenario where the two quarterbacks come off the board early, in addition to Florida outside linebacker Dante Fowler, Jr., USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams and Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper. Iowa tackle Brandon Scherff could go early, too, though some wonder if he’s a guard in the pros. If that’s the case, he wouldn’t be good value at No. 7.
“I like Danny Shelton from Washington at the nose tackle position, but I’d much rather, if I’m Chicago, try to move back,” he said. “It sounds nice and everybody says it, but you just never know what kind of offer you’re going to get.
“I think they’re in position at 7 where you figure out how the board’s falling, see if you can get any good viable options to move back and, if not, if Kevin White’s sitting there from West Virginia, I think he’d be a great fit.”
The Bears would then have a “really dangerous wide receiver corps,” he said.
McShay said he has faith new GM Ryan Pace can turn the team around.
“I’m a big Ryan Pace guy,” he said. “I think he’s the right guy for the job. He just has always shown a really good feel for personnel. But you can’t turn things around overnight, and we’re seeing now he’s hand-picking some guys.
“And we’ll see what he winds up doing in the draft “