Bears’ Eberflus Only HC in Attendance at Top QB Prospect’s Pro Day: Report

Matt Eberflus, Bears

Getty Head coach Matt Eberflus of the Chicago Bears.

Caleb Williams is the overwhelming favorite to become the next starting quarterback for the Chicago Bears, but it won’t be a done deal until the commissioner calls his name at the NFL draft in April.

That is important to remember, particularly in the context of a report from Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated on Tuesday, March 12.

“With free agency rolling, there wasn’t a single GM at Oregon QB Bo Nix’s Pro Day, and just one head coach — Bears coach Matt Eberflus, who led a sizable Chicago contingent,” Breer wrote on X.

Several hours later, Breer followed up his initial post with more information. He noted that members of the Bears’ group of talent evaluators were at the Pro Day of offensive tackle Taliese Fuaga of Oregon State the day prior, who Breer said is potentially in the mix for Chicago at No. 9 overall.

The close proximity of the two Pro Days could have played a factor in Eberflus’ decision to make the short jaunt to watch Nix throw when other head coaches chose not to do so.

Bo Nix Has Consistently Graded Out as No. 5 QB Prospect, Give or Take, in 2024 NFL Draft Class

Bo Nix, Oregon

GettyQuarterback Bo Nix, formerly of the Oregon Ducks.

Regardless of the specific reasons or the factors leading up to Eberflus and company showing up to watch Nix at his Pro Day, it is a development of note considering that Chicago holds the key to one of the best QB draft classes in recent memory.

Most draft analysts have spoken about Williams and Jayden Daniels as the top two signal-callers, while Nix is typically somewhere in the mix between prospect Nos. 4-6.

Mel Kiper of ESPN rated Nix the sixth-best quarterback in this year’s draft in his most recent position rankings from March 8. ESPN’s Field Yates predicted in his initial mock draft that the Pittsburgh Steelers will select Nix at No. 20 overall as the fifth QB off the board.

Both Kiper and Yates predicted in their most recent mocks that Williams and Daniels will go at pick Nos. 1 and 2 to the Bears and Washington Commanders, respectively, with Drake Maye heading to the New England Patriots at No. 3 and J.J. McCarthy landing with the Denver Broncos at No. 12.

The first three whirlwind days of free agency will certainly create call for adjustments to projections, but there is little evidence to support the notion that the Bears have come off of Williams at No. 1 — unless, of course, they were never fully behind that decision in the first place.

Caleb Williams Remains Most Likely Pick for Bears at No. 1 Overall

Caleb Williams

GettyQuarterback Caleb Williams.

There is minimal smoke around Nix to Chicago by way of the top pick — or really anywhere in the draft — so chances are the Bears are simply doing their due diligence before rolling with Williams at No. 1. That said, if there is anything to a potential Chicago-Nix pairing, the implications are far-reaching.

The trade market for quarterback Justin Fields, which many national reporters predicted would be robust as free agency approached and potentially net the Bears second-round value in return, dried up within hours of the legal tampering period opening. Chicago could already be in a position where late Day-2 or early Day-3 value, with a few pick conditions, is the best it can get back for the three-year starter and former No. 11 overall pick in 2021.

As such, the Bears may end up holding onto Fields for several months until a new market develops — either post-draft or due to unexpected injury. Drafting Williams and holding onto Fields until the appropriate value opportunity presents itself is the most logical outcome.

That said, Chicago can probably get three first-round picks — and then some — by trading the top selection. If the Bears move down to No. 2 or No. 3, then trade back again, the haul could be even larger. In either scenario, if the team likes Nix, it could keep Fields and allow him to function as a bridge to Nix as the future starter.

The resulting draft haul could help the Bears build out a championship-caliber roster around the 24-year-old rookie, providing him with an excellent chance to succeed. That probably won’t happen, but Eberflus’ presence at Nix’s Pro Day renders such an outcome at least somewhat viable until Roger Goodell announces Williams as the Bears’ first pick this April.

Read More