The Bears will conclude their disappointing 2019 regular season Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, and depending on how quarterback Mitch Trubisky performs, an offseason highlighted by another quarterback quest could be underway.
This isn’t to say Trubisky will be replaced before a training camp and preseason competition, and it would be unreasonable to assume the Bears won’t give Trubisky every chance over the spring and summer to prove he deserves to remain the starter in 2020. But there will be at least a contender or two for his job on the roster, and one of them may come from the 2020 NFL Draft.
A popular name connected to Chicago during Trubisky’s unraveling has been Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts. But his performance in the Sooners’ 63-28 loss on Saturday against LSU may have cooled some of the excitement for him as a potential QB for the Bears.
Hurts completed 15-of-31 passes for 217 yards and an interception. He added 43 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries. It’s a box score that looks an awful lot like what Trubisky is capable of, right?
There were more than just statistical similarities to Trubisky in Hurts’ performance.
Hurts wasn’t consistently accurate, didn’t look overly comfortable in the pocket and offered his most upside when he was on the move. The last thing the Bears want to add in 2020 is another quarterback with the same limitations as Trubisky. And while Hurts’ season (and experience as a starter) is more impressive than anything Trubisky offered as a collegiate prospect, his raw skill set as a passer doesn’t project to be much better than what Chicago’s former first-rounder possesses.
An unfortunate reality with the NFL draft process is that a prospect’s last impression could be their most lasting impression.
Hurts, who entered Saturday’s game with an outside chance to sneak into the end of the first round, will all but certainly be available for the Bears’ in Round 2 barring an unbelievable performance at the Scouting Combine or his Pro Day.
The question general manager Ryan Pace must now figure out is whether Hurts’ failure in the College Football Playoff was impactful enough to remove him from the Bears’ draft plans in April.
Jalen Hurts’ poor performance against LSU should give Bears pause in NFL draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago