Mel Kiper: Bears’ only shot at first-round QB is to be ‘very aggressive’

ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper doesn’t see one of the five quarterbacks projected to be first-round draft picks lasting long enough to reach the Bears at No. 20 late next month.

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Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields throws against Indiana last November.

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields throws against Indiana last November.

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ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper doesn’t see one of the five quarterbacks projected to be first-round draft picks lasting long enough to reach the Bears at No. 20 late next month.

Not even close.

“They may have to be very aggressive in order to get one of those other four quarterbacks after Trevor Lawrence,” he said Monday.

In his latest mock draft, Kiper has the Clemson star going first overall to the Jaguars and four others — BYU’s Zach Wilson, Ohio State’s Justin Fields, Alabama’s Mac Jones and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance — selected in the next eight picks. In his mock, Kiper gave three of those quarterbacks to teams trading up in the draft.

“I’d be surprised if one dropped to 20,” Kiper said. “I thought maybe at one point in time, Mac Jones could or Trey Lance could, but I just think that’s not gonna happen. 

“The quarterbacks always get forced up higher than they probably should in a lot of cases. In this case, I don’t necessarily think they are getting forced up. That’s where they’re graded out to go and that’s where they should go, based on … their rating.”

The Bears would have to move far up in the draft to have a chance to draft a first-round quarterback — and that could prove pricey. In 2019, the Steelers moved from pick No. 20 to No. 10 to draft linebacker Devin Bush. To do so, they had to trade No. 20, No. 52 and a third-round pick the following year. To move from No. 20 to No. 10, the Bears would likely have to trade even more, given the premium put on quarterbacks.

“You probably have to get inside of 15, maybe inside of that 10 spot,” Kiper said. “I had New England trading up to 9. I had San Francisco trading up to 7.”

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