(CBS) For all the criticism he’s received for sending the 49ers three extra draft picks to move up one spot and select North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky at No. 2 overall last Thursday, Bears general manager Ryan Pace may have best explained the bold decision in answering the most important question.
How close are the Bears to winning a Super Bowl?
“It starts with our quarterback play,” Pace said on the Bernstein and Goff Show on Monday afternoon.
Pace was speaking generally, and he praised the newly signed Mike Glennon, whom he’s made clear will be the team’s starter in 2017. Pace lauded the attitude he’s had since signing with the Bears, despite the knowledge that his future replacement could be brought on board, as he has been now.
“I feel good about Mike Glennon, I’ve liked him for a long time,” Pace said. “We’ve liked him for a long time. He’s going to win games for us, but hey, we also have Mitch Trubisky in the mix. And you guys know how we feel about him.
“You’re never going to be great in this league until you have that position right. We kind of went into this offseason with a commitment to fix the quarterback position, and it started with Mike Glennon. And then when I realized, ‘Hey, we’re in a position to get a quarterback we all really like in the draft, let’s take advantage of it.’ It’s just good to look at the depth chart now and look at that room and look at that position and feel good where we’re going.”
Pace also shed light on the decision to send San Francisco two third-rounders and a fourth-rounder to move up one spot. 49ers general manager John Lynch was even shocked by the Bears’ decision to select Trubisky, as San Francisco didn’t have its eyes on him.
“When you’ve identified, especially at quarterback, a guy you believe is that caliber of player and you’re kind of within reach to get that player, you got to do what’s necessary to get him,” Pace said. “And whether that’s one pick or 20 picks away, I think you got to make the move to do that. And I think you saw three teams do that over the weekend. Fortunately, we were a little closer (to No. 2) and it didn’t require future ones (first-round picks) and things of that nature. Yeah, I think you got to be aggressive. Of course, my fear was you could feel teams coming up to our pick, interested in our pick and you’re thinking to yourself, ‘Well, hey, if they’re interested in three, they’re definitely interested in two.’ So when you’re that close and have conviction on a guy, I think that that moment you got to be aggressive.”