Have A Little Faith In 5 Picks
With the 2019 NFL draft only a day away the stew of anxiety within the Chicago Bears fan base is boiling. Chicago is extremely close to having a Super Bowl bound roster, and a first or even second round draft pick would help calm the nerves. The first thing to keep in mind that Kahlil Mack is the Bears first-round selection, and Anthony Miller is their second-round selection. Chicago knows what they have in Mack, who received all-pro honors in his first year as a Bear. Anthony Miller had a promising rookie season catching seven touchdowns while dealing with a shoulder injury. The Bears can only hope Miller stays healthy in 2019 and takes the next step to assure he's worth the Bears not having a second-round pick this year. The Bears currently have 5 draft selections, but Robbie Gould has officially requested a trade, from the San Francisco 49ers. It does seem like Robbie is trying to get back to Chicago, but is Chicago interested in Robbie? The Bears have yet to be cited engaging in trade discussion for Robbie Gould. It is possible the Bears have been bending the rules and keeping a line of communication open with Gould. It's unlikely the Bears will make the trade, but if Chicago finds a way to acquire Gould it's possible they'll lose another 2019 draft selection. The only thing is, it's not about how many players you select, it's about what players are selected.
Relatively speaking, the Bears not having a 1st round pick couldn't have come at a better time. Take a look at the 2018 draft prospects, and notice the top end talent. On NFL.com Saquon Barkley, Quenton Nelson, Bradley Chubb, Tremaine Edmunds, and Sam Darnold all had prospect grades of 7.0 or higher. The key for the grading system goes as followed, 5.5-5.99 (chance to become NFL starter), 6.0-6.49 (should become an instant starter), 6.5-6.99 (chance to become a pro bowl player), 7.0-7.49 (pro bowl caliber player). Even Roquan Smith, Chicago's 2018 first-round selection, received a higher grade than 2019's top draft prospect, a 6.74. Quinnen Williams is the highest graded prospect for the 2019 NFL draft, receiving a 6.7. Also, in 2018 there was a steep drop off in talent between the first and second tier of talent. While this year there's a lower ceiling of talent at the top and a slower decline in talent throughout the draft. It is possible for the Bears to get themselves a starter or a few role players with limited picks. Let's crack open the history book to give Bears fan's a little more faith.
In 2004 Eli Manning was drafted 1st overall by the San Diego Chargers but refused to play for the team. Earnie Accorsi was the Giants General Manager at the time and traded for Manning. For those of you that don't know Ernie Accorsi, he is an NFL legend. Accorsi can be most famously known for the 1979 NFL Draft. In the ESPN 30 for 30 Film "From Elway to Marino," Accorsi is featured as the Colts General Manager. As the story goes, John Elway was supposed to be a consensus number 1 overall pick, and the Colts held that pick. Elway refused to play for Colts owner Robert Irsay who was known to be an alcoholic, and too frugal to invest enough money to win. Unlike 2005, Accorsi was on the wrong side of the quarterback drama in '79. The reports went on and as draft day approached Elway stated he would rather play in the MLB than play for the Colts. Accorsi wanted to trade the pick, but Irsay wouldn't budge. As the drama unfolded, Accorsi was put into a tough spot, and he made the decision to draft Elway. To make a long story short, Elway was traded to Denver, and Irsay moved the team to Indianapolis. Accorsi "washed his hands" of the situation and rebounded having a long, prolific career as a General Manager. Later in Accorsi's career, he became an executive consultant and is hired by owners to advise teams overhauling their front office. If you let me digress, in 2015, George McCaskey hired Ernie Accorsi to help the Bears clean up the mess Phil Emery left behind. Obviously, this means Accorsi hired Ryan Pace, but it wasn't the first time Accorsi tried to hire Pace. Two years prior, Accorsi was a consultant for the Carolina Panthers. Accorsi requested to interview Ryan Pace and was denied because Pace was still under contract with the New Orleans Saints. Now, back to the Giants.
After the Eli Manning trade in 2004, the Giants were left with only 4 picks in '05. Accorsi made those four picks count. The Giants selected Corey Webster, Justin Tuck, Brandon Jacobs, and Eric Moore. Webster, Tuck, and Jacobs all played in the 2008 and 2012 Super Bowls. Tuck was an all-pro and carried out the tradition of dominant Giants pass rushers. Webster and Jacobs were both 5-year starters, and Jacobs had a couple 1000+ yard rushing seasons. A full draft would be nice, but it's not necessary. A good GM will take lemons and make lemonade. Accorsi was a seasoned veteran at the time of the 2005 NFL draft, and Ryan Pace is only going into his 5th draft. Thus far, Pace has been a mid-round specialist. With Pace being hand picked by Accorsi, Bears fans can hope for some deja vu. Maybe this year Ryan Pace can pull off a draft similar to Accorsi's draft with the Giants in '05. Only time will tell, but the Bears are almost on the clock.