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Chicago Bears could trade up for a quarterback in 2021 NFL Draft

The Chicago Bears’ quarterback situation is tenuous right now after general manager Ryan Pace missed out on Russell Wilson and opted not to chase after Deshaun Watson due to off-field issues.

Chicago ultimately signed veteran journeyman Andy Dalton to a one-year contract, shockingly anointing him the starter in the process. Meanwhile, former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles is apparently on the trade block.

The backdrop here is both Pace and head coach Matt Nagy being firmly on the hot seat despite Chicago earning a playoff spot a season ago.

Apparently, the Bears’ brass is not taking into account its long-term future in the Windy City. According to NFL insider Tony Pauline, Chicago is one of the teams considering a trade up for a quarterback.

“It could be Denver or a team such as Washington or Chicago trading up for the fifth quarterback,” Pauline reported.

It wouldn’t necessarily mean that Chicago needs to trade up to the fourth pick with the Atlanta Falcons, who are considering moving down the board. Rather, the Bears could land the remaining of the five quarterbacks slated to go in the first-round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Right now, Chicago is slated to pick 20th overall.

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Who might the Chicago Bears target in a trade up in the 2021 NFL Draft?

2021 NFL mock draft: Chicago Bears
Jan 27, 2021; American quarterback Mac Jones of Alabama (10) throws during American practice at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Alabama, USA; Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

It really depends on who the first four quarterbacks are off the board. Right now, it’s reasonable to assume that Trevor Lawrence will go No. 1 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars with the New York Jets taking BYU’s Zach Wilson after trading Sam Darnold.

The San Francisco 49ers are the true wildcard with the third pick after they pulled off a blockbuster trade with the Miami Dolphins. San Francisco has primarily been linked to reigning Heisman finalist Mac Jones from Alabama. However, that’s pure conjecture on the part of the media. Justin Fields from Ohio State and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance are also options at three.

As for the Falcons, they could opt to either draft an heir-apparent to Matt Ryan or find a quarterback-needy team to give up a bounty for the fourth pick. Boasting a pick in the bottom half of the initial round, the Chicago Bears are not in a position to move up to four.

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Ideal trade partner for the Chicago Bears

Looking at the bottom half of the top 10, the Miami Dolphins traded up to six after moving off the third pick. They are unlikely to move down from that spot.

Selecting seventh overall, the Detroit Lions could be an option. They just traded Matthew Stafford for Jared Goff and are unlikely to select a quarterback. After acquiring Sam Darnold from the aforementioned Jets, the Panthers could also now be a trade-down option with the eighth pick.

For the Chicago Bears, it would be all about moving up past the quarterback-needy Denver Broncos with the ninth pick. Of course, that’s dependent on Denver not making a move up to the fourth pick.

While this all seems convoluted, it really isn’t. Chicago will likely have to wait until the 2021 NFL Draft gets going before considering trade-up scenarios. And as an example, moving up with Carolina would likely cost these Bears a second-round pick in 2021 and first-round selection in 2022. It’s not yet known whether that’s a bounty Ryan Pace and Co. would be willing to pay.