With the 2018 NFL Draft still over two months away, trade rumors and possibilities will run rapid until draft night on April 26th. Teams will converge on Indianapolis next week for the Scouting Combine where draft trade talks and rumors will only heat up.
Recent rumors now include the Buffalo Bills wanting to trade up into the top 10 to have a shot at drafting one of the five quarterbacks prospects predicted to go early this year opening many trade scenarios.
Of the 10 teams drafting in the top 10 this year, only half are already set at quarterback and will be looking to draft other needs. The Bears are slated to select eighth and enjoy the luxury of having Tampa Bay as the only other team drafting ahead of them without any major issues at the quarterback position. The Bears could be the best trade partner for Buffalo if they really are serious about moving up for a quarterback.
Buffalo currently holds both the 21st and 22nd pick in the draft and could possibly be willing to part with both picks in order to trade up to get a quarterback that they really want. Last season, three trades were made to draft quarterbacks as the Bears, Chiefs, and Texans made trades to get the quarterback of their choice.
The Bills traded the 10th overall pick to the Chiefs in return for Kansas City’s first rounder in 2017 (27th overall) and their first round pick in 2018 Cleveland traded their 12th pick to the Texans for the Texans 2017 first rounder (25th overall) and a 2018 first round pick.
As more teams are in need of a quarterback in a quarterback-heavy draft, it could put the Bears in a position to receive a large return if they trade their eighth pick.
Unlike most of the teams in the top 10, the Bears do not need to target a specific position and could benefit from having multiple first round draft picks. The two positions that they could target in the first round are at wide receiver and offensive line.
With all five quarterbacks and running back Saquan Barkley projected to go early, it pushes other positional players down the board allowing the Bears to trade down risking those players falling to them. Wide receiver Calvin Ridley is projected as the best receiver prospect in the draft but could fall to the Bears even if they are selecting at 21.
Another trade return possibility for general manager Ryan Pace and his team is to trade for quantity over quality of picks. They could ask Buffalo for just one first round pick and multiple later round picks.
When the Bears traded up one spot last year to draft Mitchell Trubisky, they gave up four later round picks, one of which was this year’s third round pick. Pace can increase the team’s draft picks total from six to possibly more depending on how much the Bills offer.
The Bears General Manager has proven that he is able to find quality players in the later rounds of the draft such as Jordan Howard, Eddie Jackson, Adrian Amos, and Cody Whitehair.
It was the Trubisky trade that drew the ire of fans and analysts who believed the Pace gave up way too much to trade up one spot to grab a quarerback that could have possibly fell to them anyway. This year, they could be on the other end depending on what Buffalo or a surprise team decides to do in trading up in the draft.
The great thing is that their current draft position provides so many options in value and it could be the big draft break Pace and his team has been waiting for the last three seasons.