How the Bears missed out on a Potential Dynasty by drafting Mitch Trubisky


Patrick Mahomes left, Mitch Trubisky middle, Deshaun Watson right

Johnny Mambrino

The 2017 NFL Draft was one of the deepest and most talented drafts of at least the past decade. It was easily one of the best running back classes we’ve ever seen with Christian McCaffrey, Leonard Fournette, Alvin Kamara, Kareem Hunt, James Conner, Marlon Mack, and Chris Carson getting drafted in basically every round. All of them were or are legitimate starting runningbacks at one point. There were some good mid-round receivers like Kenny Golladay and Chris Godwin who should’ve very easily been first-round picks. It also featured some of the best defensive players in the league today like No. 1 overall pick Myles Garret, Jamal Adams, T.J Watt, Marshon Lattimore, Marlon Humphrey, and so many more.

The craziest thing about this draft was where the top of the line Quarterback prospects were taken. We saw the gunslinging product of Kliff Kingsbury and Texas Tech Patrick Mahomes get taken at 10 and then the Clemson standout and National Champion Deshaun Watson go just two picks later. But the biggest question mark left on this draft was the Bears decision to trade up from the 3rd pick to the 2nd pick to take, who most scouts and people around the league thought was the third-best quarterback in this draft class, Mitchell Trubisky. It wasn’t just a first-round swap, the 49ers traded the second pick for the Bears 3rd pick, 3rd round pick, 4th round pick, and a 2018 third-round pick. The 3rd pick for the 49ers ended up being Soloman Thomas and while he has been productive at times, he isn’t quite the talent the Niners thought they’d be getting. Other than the fact they botched their QB pick, the real gut punch for the Bears was the talent they lost because of the picks they gave up. Their 2018 3rd round pick ended up being Fred Warner who led the Niners in tackles in his first two seasons and has been an integral part of their defense. Additionally, the 3rd round pick from the 2017 draft that the Niners got from the Bears, was traded to the Saints who ended up taking one of the best running backs in the league today in Alvin Kamara. It’s safe to say the Bears lost out on not just draft capital, but elite talent on both sides of the ball.

They obviously couldn’t control who the 49ers and Saints took with THEIR own picks, but they could control who they took at #2, and that proved to be a very moronic decision. Since coming into the league Patrick Mahomes has won a regular-season MVP award, a Super Bowl MVP award, and has started out his first three seasons 4-0 going into week 5. Deshaun Watson in his rookie season was 3-3 and had 19 TDs and 8 interceptions before tearing his ACL which sidelined him for the rest of the season. The following two years he went 11-5 and 10-5 leading the Texans to 2 AFC South division titles and a Wild Card Playoff win last year vs. the Bills. It’s also worth noting that in his rookie season after he got injured the Texans went 1-9. Although Mitch Trubisky hasn’t had the same success as Mahomes and Watson, he showed a lot of promise in his second season after only starting 12 games his rookie season. He went 11-3 in his sophomore campaign with 3,200 passing yards with 24 TD’s and 12 INTs. He’s also was a great runner and added 421 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns to his boosted passing numbers. His much-improved sophomore season led to him being selected for the Pro Bowl along with Mahomes and Watson.

While Trubisky was solid on the offensive side of the ball, It was the defense that was the anchor of this team that led them to 12 wins with elite edge rusher Khalil Mack, pro bowl corner Kyler Fuller, and young studs like Roquan Smith and Eddie Jackson that amounted for the league’s best defense. The Bears finished the season 12-4 and won the NFC North for the first time since 2010. Their magical season however was ended by the Eagles in the Wild Card game, when their kicker Cody Parkey missed the game-winning field goal down 15-16. Since that game from the surface, it would seem like Trubisky just regressed a bit and it was nothing to worry about, considering he went 8-7 in 2019 and 3-0 this season, but in reality, he has been abysmal. In 2019 he threw 7 fewer touchdowns in more games than in 2018, his passer rating dropped 12 points, and his QBR in 2019 was 42.6, which was 28th out of 30 eligible quarterbacks. Just for reference, his QBR in 2018 was 71, which was 3rd in the entire league only behind the MVP Patrick Mahomes and Drew Brees.

His fall from grace hasn’t gone over well with the fans especially because they thought they had their franchise quarterback. The Bears also thought they had that but with Trubisky being statistically one of the worst QB’s in the league, they had to bring in someone to compete with him and maybe give him the motivation to play better to keep his starting spot. Some reporters and people around the league suspected maybe they would go after Cam Newton, or maybe Teddy Bridgewater after his 5-0 stint with the Saints when Drew Brees went down early in the season. They went in a different direction by trading for Nick Foles who had come off a collarbone injury that made him miss the first 12 games of the year. When he was healthy again they took Gardner Minshew out and Nick Foles went 0-4. It wasn’t crazy to see that people didn’t agree with the move. Trubisky started off the season 2-0 but he eventually got replaced by Foles in week 3 against the Falcons where he led a 16 point fourth-quarter comeback and solidified himself as the starter. The Bears would lose the next week to the Colts but bounced back and for the second time in his career, Nick Foles had beaten Tom Brady and the Bucs by a late field goal. It wasn’t surprising to see Trubisky get benched as he was only completing around 59 percent of his passes and he was either hitting 30 yards back shoulder fade passes for touchdowns or completely missing his receivers.

Mitch Trubisky left, Nick Foles right

To think about what kind of team the Bears could’ve had if they never traded those picks and never drafted Trubisky. They could’ve built off that 12-4 season and with Patrick Mahomes there would be nothing but at least 11 win seasons after that considering Aaron Rodgers had been declining and the Vikings would make the playoffs most years but would never go very far. Not only could the Bears have had Mahomes or Deshaun Watson but they could’ve added to what was becoming a top tier defense and kept their picks and drafted Fred Warner, or even Micheal Gallup to pair up with Allen Robinson and solidify that receiving core. Micheal Gallup was also taken 30 picks after the Bears selected Anthony Miller who hasn’t had nearly the same productions as Gallup. Additionally even though in 2017 draft running back wasn’t necessarily their biggest need, to think they could’ve paired together Patrick Mahomes and Alvin Kamara. Nobody would be able to stop that offense with two pro bowl caliber receivers Allen Robinson and Micheal Gallup running routes for Mahomes and Alvin Kamara being a true swiss army knife for the Bears. He would’ve been a perfect running back for Mahomes as even in Chicago they like to run screen passes a lot, similarly to in Kansas City, so Kamara would be able to flourish in not only the running game but also receiving out of the backfield. What one trade and one missed quarterback pick could have cost the Bears a potential dynasty, we will never know. But with their defense becoming top tier in the league with young stars, and one of the best and most talented quarterbacks and players in Football on the other side of the ball, there’s no telling what type of success the Bears could’ve had.