The time has come for GM Ryan Pace to draft a young quarterback that can become the signal caller of the future for the Chicago Bears.
During Pace’s two years in charge, the Bears have yet to select a quarterback in the draft but that will likely change this year, as the Bears are expected to soon part ways with Jay Cutler.
Pace will now have the task of finding the next franchise quarterback. As such, quarterback is an option with the third overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
If Pace waits to select a quarterback, there are a few high-upside prospects who should be available in the second and third rounds.
Here are the quarterbacks the Bears should be keeping an eye on during Saturday's on-field workouts in Indianapolis.
Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina
The former Tar Heels passer started just one year in Chapel Hill but is the top quarterback prospect among many experts. Trubisky was great at limiting his turnovers and flashed his athleticism when forced out of the pocket. He rarely was under center at UNC, so that could be a concern for teams. Trubisky struggled at times with accuracy down the field, so that will be on display at the combine.
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Deshaun Watson, Clemson
Watson is just weeks removed from helping Clemson win the College Football Playoff Championship. His stock has soared since his impressive performance against Alabama. While Watson is one of the top-rated quarterbacks, he still has some concerns. His accuracy isn’t top tier and he did throw 17 interceptions in 2016 for the Tigers. He will run through all the drills at the combine, giving the Bears a look at his entire skill set. Watson’s accuracy down the field is one of the biggest knock against him so keep an eye on some of his deep throws during on-field drills.
DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame
Kizer has one of the best arms in the 2017 class and could be atop a few teams draft boards at QB. The Bears might be looking for that prototypical drop-back passer and Kizer fits that mold. He has a big arm, a quick release and his athleticism is among the best in the class. His biggest knock is his decision-making, which was sketchy at times. Kizer was inconsistent with the 4-8 Fighting Irish in 2016 but he will have the chance to prove the doubters wrong during field drills at the combine. His showing on Saturday will be big for Kizer's draft stock.
Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech
The former Texas Tech quarterback is unlikely to be selected in the first round but he’s a solid option in the second for the Bears. If Pace decides to pass on a quarterback at No. 3, Mahomes would be a solid option with the team's second pick. At 6-3, Mahomes has ideal build for a starting quarterback in the NFL and displays good presence in the pocket. Mahomes' consistency is something to watch at the combine, as he often has a tendency to fall out of a rhythm and make mistakes with his ball placement.
Brad Kaaya, Miami (Florida)
Kaaya could have benefitted from returning to Miami for his senior season. He’s a pro-style pocket passer with a quick release and knows when to get rid of the ball, yet he's still relatively raw and will need time to develop. It’s unlikely Kaaya will be taken in the first two rounds, so he could be an option for the Bears in Round 3. There are still some big concerns with his game, however. The accuracy is just not there for Kaaya right now, which is something he will need to show at the combine to improve his stock. In addition, he struggles with his decision-making at times. Kaaya would be a project for the Bears and won't be ready to start right away, but Pace likes what he sees on Saturday, the former Hurricane might end up in the navy and orange next season.