By Chris Emma–
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) — For the second straight year, the Bears were aggressive in moving up in the first round of the NFL Draft. This time, it was a shocking move to get a quarterback.
Chicago acquired the No. 2 pick from San Francisco on Thursday night, then used it to select North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. The Bears sent the 49ers their No. 3 overall pick, a third-rounder and fourth-rounder in this draft and a 2018 third-rounder to move up one spot to take Trubisky.
“I didn’t see that coming at all,” Trubisky said on a teleconference from the draft site in Philadelphia. “I was surprised. I’m glad they came up and got me at No. 2. I think it shows that they believe in me. And I believe in what Ryan Pace and coach (John) Fox are doing in Chicago, and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”
Trubisky was the most inexperienced of the top quarterbacks, having redshirted his freshman year before being the primary backup in 2014 and 2015 and becoming the starter in 2016, when he completed 304 of 446 throws for 3,478 yards, 30 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Trubisky was told by the Bears that veteran Mike Glennon will be the team’s starter for 2017, but he will get the opportunity to develop and compete alongside.
“(I’m) going to come in and learn as much as I can from Mike and the other veterans on the team,” Trubisky said. “I mean I’m always going to compete and do my thing and push the guy in front of me and my teammates as well. When given my opportunity, I’m looking forward to take full advantage of it. It’s all all about helping the Chicago Bears win and that’s what I’m looking forward to most.”
Bears general manager Ryan Pace said Tuesday that he had been fielding and making phone calls for the team’s third overall pick, though it was widely expected that he would be looking to move down instead of up. The 49ers used their No. 3 pick to select defensive end Solomon Thomas out of Stanford, while collecting three draft picks from the Bears.
Pace knew that Trubisky could be gone by the third pick because he was fielding calls about it. Worried he might lose out, Pace instead traded up instead of down.
“As an organization, we had conviction on this quarterback and his special attributes and we did what we had to do to get him,” Pace said. “His potential to be a championship quarterback is all we focused on in this move.
“The most important position in all of sports is quarterback, and I don’t think you’re ever a great team until you address the position and you address it right. I think everybody should respect that. We’re addressing the quarterback position, we’re being aggressive with that position because it’s the most important position in sports.”
After trading up, the Bears now have four picks remaining in this draft: Round 2, No. 36; Round 4, No. 117 (from the Bills); Round 5, No. 147; and Round 7, No. 221.
Pace suggested that the Bears will look for avenues to add more picks for Days 2 and 3 of the draft.