Should the Chicago Bears go the Jim Harbaugh route at head coach this offseason, they could be married to a quarterback who threw for a total of 60 yards against Penn State. The Bears have yet to fire head coach Matt Eberflus, but the 4-8 team is trending in that direction.
The Chicago Bears need a new QB
They’re also trending towards a quarterback change. Justin Fields has not shown enough progress this season to warrant the Bears giving him a future beyond his rookie deal. Because the Bears own the Carolina Panthers’ first-round pick, and that looks like it will be the first-overall pick, the Bears might never have a better opportunity to land the franchise quarterback they want.
But it might not be who the Bears brass’ wants. Caleb Williams and Drake Maye are considered the top two quarterback prospects by most scouts and analysts for the 2024 NFL Draft. However, Adam Jahns with The Athletic wrote Harbaugh has a different opinion on the quarterback rankings.
Jim Harbaugh likes his Michigan man
Jahns wrote the Bears could draft Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy if Harbaugh is hired by the Bears this offseason. Harbaugh thinks McCarthy is the best quarterback in the country:
“I mean he never hung his head,” Harbaugh said. “He never got on anybody. He’s just got this demeanor. The more you hit him, the more he’s just motivated to come back, which is amazing. Plus, he’s 20 years old.
I think he’s the best quarterback in the country. Some will argue. But he’s got to be the youngest of the best. I see some other guys that are reclassified and been around for forever, but he’s just a kid.”
This would be an interesting pick by general manager Ryan Poles or another Bears general manager this offseason. McCarthy is a native of La Grange Park, IL, and would fit into the hometown talent pool Poles has said he wants to bring to this Chicago team.
Is J.J. McCarthy the new Andrew Luck or Colin Kaepernick?
Harbaugh said McCarthy reminded him of Andrew Luck when Harbaugh was the coach at Stanford. Harbaugh has a track record of success with quarterbacks who work in his system. Luck won a lot of games at Stanford. McCarthy is 25-1 as a starter at Michigan.
McCarthy has been a high-level game manager at Michigan. His style reminds me more of Harbaugh’s use of Colin Kaepernick during their time with the San Francisco 49ers.
Kaepernick is my worry about the Bears potentially going this route. Kaepernick was excellent in Harbaugh’s quarterback-friendly system. But his stats plummeted when when Harbaugh left for Michigan.
Harbaugh could come to Chicago for only a handful of seasons. He’s known to be abrasive with management. The Bears could be left in the cold if they draft a quarterback who’s dependent on Harbaugh for success if he leaves in a few years.
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