Now that Ryan Pace has been here for a while, we can start to look at his past drafts to see what lessons we can learn from his approach. This can help us cautiously look ahead to the 2018 draft to see what he might be thinking.
With that goal in mind, I’m going to spend the next three weeks looking at how Pace has approached the three days of the draft, and then applying that approach to 2018 to see what players are likely being considered for the Bears this year. We’re starting today at the top of the draft. Let’s look first at the history, and then we’ll examine lessons learned.
2015: Kevin White, WR, 7th overall
2016: Leonard Floyd, OLB, 9th overall (trade up from 11)
2017: Mitchell Trubisky, QB, 2nd overall (trade up from 3)
Trend 1: Go get your guy
The first thing we should observe is that Ryan Pace is not shy about trading up in round 1 to get the player he has identified as his main target. So keep that in mind as we look at mock drafts with players who might be good fits for the Bears but are projected to go higher than #8.
It’s worth noting that these have all been relatively minor trades just moving up a few spots, which keeps the cost down. Despite reportedly exploring moving up to the top of the draft for Marcus Mariota in 2015, Pace has not been willing to give up multiple high picks in these moves.
Trading up becomes a bit more difficult this year because the Bears are already without a third round pick due to trading up for Trubisky last year, but they do have an extra fourth round pick they could use.