Trading down is a gamble

The Bears are considering moving back in the draft to gain additional draft picks, but that strategy has cost them Pro Bowl players in the past.

Four years ago, the Bears turned down the chance to take Champ Bailey, Chris McAlister, David Boston, Daunte Culpepper or Chris Claiborne because they traded down and selected Cade McNown.

The team is searching for a quarterback again, but not in the first round. They may think carefully about selecting Marshall's Byron Leftwich at the fourth slot.

However, in the past 10 years, 13 quarterbacks have been chosen among the top five picks. Only Steve McNair, Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb, Peyton Manning and Drew Bledsoe have produced at a high level. The busts include Rick Mirer, Heath Shuler, Ryan Leaf and Akili Smith.

The hit-or-miss proposition of taking a quarterback high looks to have scared the Bears off.

"I wouldn't say that I'm gun shy," Bears coach Dick Jauron said. "I think the thing about the pick is you just find the best guy and you pick him. If it happens to be a quarterback, then that's the guy you take. If it doesn't, then you've got to be strong enough to take that guy and take the person deserving of the No. 4 pick."

Despite the glaring need for a young quarterback the Bears will wait until the second or third round to take one.

Still, there are other teams that might be willing to trade up to the fourth slot to have a chance at Leftwich or even Carson Palmer.

Depending on how far the Bears drop down they could lose a coveted player. Terrell Suggs, Jimmy Kennedy and Dewayne Robertson are all expected to go in the top ten, while teams that are looking to take a quarterback include Jacksonville (8th pick) Carolina (9th pick) and Baltimore (10th). Dropping down a few slots could force the Bears to settle for whose left instead of getting the player they've targeted.

In a few years we could be talking about the Bears passing on Terrence Newman, Byron Leftwich or Terrell Suggs in order to get an extra draft pick.

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