Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace spoke to the media Tuesday a few days before the NFL Draft, and he answered numerous questions — or danced around them, as is his way — about his team’s plans.
“Everyone with our team is excited this week — our first draft with a first-round pick since Roquan (Smith) in 2018,” Pace began. The Bears have been mentioned multiple times as potential trade-up candidates this year, and while he wasn’t about to confirm or deny anything, the Bears GM did offer up a few interesting bits of information.
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Pace Thinks a Young QB Could Benefit From Team’s Experience
Pace was asked what stands out to him about this year’s quarterback class, and he lauded the sheer number of talented players. “To be honest, just the depth, the totality of that group, it is deep this year,” he said. Pace then gave a revealing answer about how the team’s two veteran quarterbacks, Andy Dalton and Nick Foles, could influence Chicago’s decision to draft a young signal-caller.
When he was asked if he thinks the Bears are in an ideal scenario to draft a quarterback, Pace answered in the affirmative, saying this:
I do. I think if we did draft a quarterback, it’s a good room for sure. Those guys both have a lot of experience. A lot of different experiences, too, which I think is good. I think the coaching staff that we have there is strong as well. We talked about it earlier with (head coach) Matt (Nagy) and (offensive coordinator Bill) Lazor and Flip (quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo). It’s a strong coaching staff around that position. We have a lot of veteran leadership in that room, too. … But again, we’re just going to take the best players throughout this draft.
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Pace on Trading Up: There Has to Be a Consensus
What kind of qualities — regardless of position — does Pace look for in a player he trades up to select? “When we trade up for guys, the first thing that comes to my mind,” Pace said, “is the conviction that we have throughout our building. Like, you know when there’s a consensus pick and you can feel it from our coaches and scouts and I know everybody’s going to be excited when we make that selection and walk out of the room. It gives me more confidence to go do that.”
He also added that he feels good about having Nagy, Lazor and DeFilippo on board, all three of whom are former quarterbacks.
“You know what’s cool about Matt and with Lazor and with Flip, I think there’s certain positions I think it is valuable if you’ve played that position. And I think quarterback is one of those. And all three of those guys have played the position at different levels and I think it comes into play as we’re talking about that position and just the different perspective they have on it and the different angle they have on it as we have our draft meetings,” he added.
He didn’t say much, but it certainly looks as though Pace is about to take swing No. 2 on a quarterback in the NFL Draft.
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