The NFL Draft will kick off in less than three weeks, and the latest buzz around the Chicago Bears suggests it could be a huge one for them. Bears insider Jeff Hughes of DaBearsBlog, who has broken news about the Bears hiring offensive line coach Juan Castillo and the signing of Robert Quinn, among other Bears-related topics, came out with a doozy on Twitter Friday:
According to Hughes, the close personal relationship between Bears general manager Ryan Pace and Atlanta Falcons GM Terry Fontenot could result in a huge trade — one that gets Chicago the No. 4 overall pick in the draft this year. Hughes also has in mind a specific player whom the Bears could target if this happens.
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Atlanta Rumored to Be Willing to Trade Down
The Falcons currently own the fourth overall pick in the upcoming draft, and per top NFL insider Adam Schefter, they “have received trade calls from multiple teams and ‘are open to moving’ out of the No. 4 spot.”
Hughes says that he thinks desperation may have set in for the Bears after they tried and failed to land Russell Wilson, noting the plans at Halas Hall may have changed quite a bit in recent weeks.
“About a month ago, maybe more, I was told (Bears Chairman) George McCaskey did not want Ryan Pace sacrificing future first-round picks to move up in the draft. He was OK with it for a veteran guy — for a quarterback who was a sure thing. But he was not OK with it for a coin-flip quarterback. I believe that has changed,” Hughes said.
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Hughes: ‘The Bears Like These Quarterbacks’
Hughes elaborated, saying he feels as though the relationship between Pace and Fontenot could be a huge factor here. “I believe the Bears are now trying actively to get up to the fourth pick. What you have to know is that Ryan Pace and Fontenot down there in Atlanta are best friends. I don’t think Pace has a closer friend in the league than Fontenot,” Hughes said, adding:
“The Bears like these quarterbacks. Now, is that a good thing? I’m not sure. Is it going to happen? I’m not sure. But the smoke is real. The Bears are actively trying to get to the fourth pick in the draft.”
When a fan asked him on Twitter which quarterback he thought the Bears would target, he named names: If the rumors are true and the San Francisco 49ers take Mac Jones with the third overall pick, Hughes thinks Chicago could have a “Fields day,” so to speak.
As Hughes noted, this deal is no sure thing, but it certainly throws a bit more intrigue over an offseason filled with more lows than highs for the Bears so far. Soon enough, we’ll see how real the smoke is. Stay tuned.