Armed with the second overall pick after moving up in the 2017 NFL draft, the Chicago Bears had to make a monumental decision on who to select as the team's next franchise quarterback. It turned out that there were many surprising details that went behind the decision.
Prior to the draft, the team brass bannered by general manager Ryan Pace, head coach John Fox, director of player personnel Josh Lucas, and quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone, among others, visited then-Clemson Tigers playmaker Deshaun Watson in his team's pro day. However, the quarterback wasn't given a follow-up or even an individual workout which was contrary to how the team interacted with other draft hopefuls in North Carolina's Mitchell Trubisky and Texas Tech's Patrick Mahomes.
“The Bears were clearly trying to keep other teams off their scent. I get that. But typically, if you’re searching for your franchise quarterback, you need to get at least a private workout in with anybody who is a possible candidate. You need to see that workout. You need to meet with the guy one on one. You need to know everything about him,” one NFL executive said.
Wiederer's source also added that the quarterback position holds a valuable impact on the future of a franchise. Given that, a private workout should be held for anyone who is considered as a potential draft candidate.
“Especially if you’re picking as high as the Bears were, you just have to do that. That’s such an investment for the organization. … If you don’t do that properly, it can set you back for years. Obviously.”
Apparently, the team's general manager in Pace reportedly hid his desires to draft Trubisky away from Fox and Ragone who both regarded Watson as their top choice. It was a total failure on the organization's part to involve both the front office and the coaching staff in coming up with an important decision like this.
“You figure it out together,” one current NFL executive said. “You have to involve the coaches. You have to be on the same page.
Ultimately, the Bears snagged Trubisky with the second overall pick while Watson fell to the hands of the Houston Texans way back with the 12th pick of the draft. A couple of years later, it was eventually made clear which team made the right decision during the 2017 NFL Draft.
Trubisky currently finds himself in a semi-depressing tug-of-war with veteran playmaker Nick Foles for the starting quarterback position while Watson recently signed a lucrative four-year, $177 million extension to stay with the Texans.
The former Clemson Tigers star will hope to remind the Bears what they missed out on when he visits them at Soldier Field in Week 14 proceedings.