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Chicago Bears 2017 NFL Draft Preview: QB (Rounds 1-3)

A detailed break down of the top quarterbacks in the 2017 NFL Draft class, and our pick for the passer who should be the long-term franchise signal caller for the Chicago Bears.

The Chicago Bears spent a substantial chunk of change on free-agent QB Mike Glennon this off-season, yet it's unclear whether Glennon is the long-term answer, as he hasn't started an NFL game in two-plus seasons.

There's a chance Glennon will light it up in Chicago and lead the Bears to numerous victories over the next few seasons. There's also as good a chance Glennon will show why the Bucs repeatedly passed on him during his four seasons in Tampa Bay. 

GM Ryan Pace is fully aware of this uncertainty, which is why Glennon's contract only carries $4.5 million in guaranteed money beyond this season. 

As such, expect Pace to address the quarterback position early in the 2017 NFL Draft. Here are his options. 

Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina (6-2, 222)

Trubisky is widely considered the top quarterback in this year's class. He only started 13 career games at UNC, so experience is a concern, but he made the most of his starts, throwing for 30 TDs and just 6 INTs in 2016. Trubisky has good height and a very strong arm, which allows to make every throw at any point on the field. He's adept at reading the entire field and has very good mobility and speed (4.67). Trubisky is a dual-threat quarterback with a high floor and a high ceiling. He's still a bit raw and must learn to play under center but Trubisky has all the makings of an above-average passer in the NFL, with Pro Bowl potential.

Projected: Top 10

Deshaun Watson, Clemson (6-2, 221)

Watson is another dual-threat passer and arguably the most athletic quarterback in this class. He has a strong arm and very good pocket awareness (he was sacked just 32 times over his final 1,181 drop backs), along with the speed to make opposing defenses pay for using man coverage. Watson is a leader and a winner, one who plays his best in the biggest moments of the biggest games. The two-time Heisman Trophy finalist has accuracy issues but Watson's ability to rise to the occasion on a consistent basis will make him an easy Day 1 pick.

Projected: 1st Round

Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech (6-2, 225)

Mahomes was a three-year starter for the Red Raiders who led the FBS in 2016 with 421 passing yards per game. He finished last season with 4,653 passing yards, 41 TDs, 10 INTs and a 63.5 completion percentage. Mahomes is also a threat with his legs, scoring 22 times on the ground during his collegiate career. He has a big arm, excellent mobility and he plays with confidence. Mahomes has a ton of upside but he's a work in progress, as his throwing mechanics are sloppy and inconsistent. He also must learn to play within the offense, as his tendency to revert to playground football could get him in trouble at the next level.

Projected: 1st-2nd Round

DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame (6-4, 233)

Kizer was once considered the top quarterback in the 2017 class but after a disappointing junior season, his stock has dropped. He still has ideal size, a big arm and good mobility. He's a physical specimen with a very high ceiling, yet there are concerns about Kizer's mental makeup, as well as him repeatedly faltering in fourth quarters last season. Kizer still has the potential to be a very good NFL quarterback but he carries a lot of risk and won't likely be ready to start for at least a year or two.

Projected: 2nd Round

Davis Webb, California (6-5, 229)

Originally a starter at Texas Tech, Webb was eventually replaced by Mahomes. Webb then transferred to California last season, where he threw for 4295 yards, 37 TDs, 12 INTs and 61.6 completion percentage. Webb is a tall, rhythm passer who worked in spread offenses throughout his career. He has the physical tools but his decision making is a serious question mark, as he rarely worked through his progressions in college. As a developmental prospect, Webb is worth a look in the third round but he may never grow into anything more than a backup in the NFL.

Projected: 2nd-3rd Round

Nathan Peterman, Pittsburgh (6-2, 226)

Peterman transferred from Tennessee to Pittsburgh in 2015, where he started the past two seasons (47 TD, 14 INTs combined). He comes from a pro-style passing attack, where he was asked to consistently read the entire field and work through is progressions. In that regard, he's well ahead of most his quarterback counterparts in this class. He shows good poise in the pocket and decent accuracy. He doesn't have the biggest arm and he's not going to hurt you with his legs but Peterman might be the most NFL-ready QB in this class, even if his ceiling is relatively low.

Projected: 2nd-3rd Round

Brad Kaaya, Miami (6-4, 214)

A three-year starter for the Hurricanes, Kaaya comes from a pro-style, pocket system. In 2016, he threw for 3,532 yards, 27 TDs and 7 INTs. Kaaya is an intelligent quarterback who uses solid fundamentals and good decision-making, and he's adept at working quickly through his progressions. Athletically, he's limited, and his slender frame could lead to injury issues in the NFL. Yet most concerning is Kaaya's accuracy, which is highly inconsistent. Kaaya is a good quarterback between the ears but his physical limitations keep his ceiling relatively low.

Projected: 3rd Round

The Pick: Mitch Trubisky

Every quarterback in this class is littered with question marks and Trubisky is no different. He has just 13 career starts and has never played under center. His learning curve is a big one but the same can be said abut the entire 2017 QB class. 

Trubisky stands above the rest due to his combination of arm strength, accuracy and mobility, all of which are at a very high level.

It might take him a year to develop but with Glennon in Chicago, the Bears have that luxury.

Trubisky will cost Pace the third overall pick in this year's draft, so the investment is substantial but the Bears need a young franchise passer and Trubisky is the best of the bunch.

He may not be the third best player in this year's draft but he plays the most important position in the game and the film shows a quarterback with all the tools to be a quality NFL starter. If he develops into a reliable No. 1 QB, then he's worth the investment.


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