Bernstein: Wow, Ryan Pace

By Dan Bernstein–
CBSChicago.com senior columnist

(CBS) We’re going to need some details about why the Bears felt the need to give up three draft picks to move up one slot to select North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky at No. 2 overall in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday evening.

Most believed the 49ers were preparing to take Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, so we can only assume that Bears general manager Ryan Pace had to outbid at least one other team for the certainty of landing the player with whom he has tied his professional future. At least we have to hope that was the case, or something unfortunate happened to a team in need of so many live new bodies all over the roster.

And even after paying quarterback Mike Glennon $18.5 million guaranteed in free agency, it turns out that was just to be a place-holder, so it’s a seemingly pricey sum for that particular job. But that’s not the story.

Pace has spiked the pressure on both himself and Trubisky by paying the premium he did and bringing him in to a victory-starved city. Even if they try to tamp down expectations and insist he will be brought along slowly, we know better around here that Glennon is likely to be some combination of bad and hurt, not to mention that the groundswell for whomever is next in line would occur even if the quarterback in waiting  were a fifth-rounder, let alone a No. 2 overall who cost two more third-rounders and a fourth-rounder.

The first interception Glennon throws in Bourbonnais will be the onset of an issue for Bears coach John Fox, needing to turn his prickly harrumph levels up to 11 every time he sees a microphone.

But check out the big, brass ones on Pace, knowing we’d be saying all this as he powered ahead to take an enormous risk that might have commensurate payoff only with confetti and champagne. If he’s a Trubisky true-believer (Trubiliever?), then he has to foresee his I-told-you-so somewhere on the other end of this surprising journey on which he has now embarked.

Pace committed to a largely untested collegiate prospect at the most important single position in team sports and is handing him over to an offensive staff with a less-than-established track record, to say the least.

None of the circumstances will matter if Mitchell Trubisky is a great NFL quarterback, and Ryan Pace will be able to say, “I knew he would be, and that’s why I did what I did.”

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s “Bernstein and Goff Show” in afternoon drive. You can follow him on Twitter  @dan_bernstein and read more of his columns here.

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