Here's what NFL execs are saying about the Bears draft -- and it's not good
As one exec put it, 'We don't know what the hell they were doing'
The beauty of the draft is in the eye of the beholder. It will take years for these players to succeed or falter and the true outcome of which teams got it right and which ones struck out is impossible to know right now.
But that hasn't stopped evaluators and decision-makers around the NFL from whispering about what they liked and what they didn't like. And no team is being met with more scrutiny than the Bears. It's not a revelation that things are not great between young GM Ryan Pace and old-school head coach John Fox. I've been reporting and commenting on it since before last season. But it is reaching a nadir and the puzzling decision to give up a ransom to move up one spot and take QB Mitchell Trubisky, who would have been sitting there at pick No. 3 anyway, is just one of several decisions that has others questioning the longevity of this regime in Chicago.
"We don't know what the hell they were doing," said an executive from one team that is routinely in the postseason. "It's all anyone is talking about. It's really bad between Pace and Fox. Fox is fuming about being left in the dark on the trade (for Trubisky). I don't know anyone who likes their draft. From the first pick on, we can't figure out what they were doing. Go back and look at how many small-school kids they took. People around the league are shocked. It's really bad between Pace and Fox."
An executive from another team noted: "Either the Bears know something no one else in the league knows, or that draft just got a lot of people fired only they don't know it yet."
The Trubisky pick will tell the tale of this franchise moving forward. And it remains to be seen whether or not this old-school ownership group would blow everything up again in 2018 or not (front office and coaching staff), but few groups will go into this season under more scrutiny. The Bears had just five picks in total after trades, and selected players from Ashland University, North Carolina A&T and Kutztown to go with Trubisky and an injured safety from Alabama, despite having glaring holes all over the roster.
Oh, and don't forget they gave Mike Glennon $18.5M to play quarterback for them this season. Perhaps the Bears will prove the skeptics and critics wrong, but if they don't, there is almost certain to be a significant shakeup there come January. If Pace does get to hire another head coach next year, I expect you hear plenty about longtime Saints assistant Pete Carmichael, who he worked with in New Orleans, and highly-regarded Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald. Most assume Fitzgerald will never leave that program, but the Bears might well try to coerce him should they suffer another poor campaign -- as my man Brady Quinn astutely pointed out during our draft live show over the weekend.
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