Ryan Poles made it clear from the beginning that his mission is to help maximize Justin Fields. This is the correct approach. While the young quarterback was the pick of a different GM, he represents Poles’s best possible option at the position. The sensible thing to do is invest the bulk of his resources towards the supporting cast. That means offensive linemen, wide receivers, tight ends, and so on. That being said, there is also a possibility that the new Chicago Bears GM could at least attempt to hedge his bets.
That is to say, looking to secure a cheap quarterback in the draft. Somebody that can serve as depth and maybe even insurance with a bit of luck in case the worst-case scenario happens and Fields doesn’t work out. Poles would be far from the first GM to do something like this. Denver drafted Chad Kelly a year after taking Paxton Lynch in the 1st round. Baltimore took Trace McSorley a year after drafting Lamar Jackson. More established GMs did those.
So Ryan Poles could easily do something similar, considering he didn’t pick Fields.
It always comes down to the right player being available at the right time. Draft experts don’t sound too high on this current crop of quarterbacks. Not only does it seem to lack a definitive #1 guy at the top, but the depth is also a big question mark. That said, some interesting names should be available between the 5th and 7th rounds that the Bears GM could pounce on.
Bailey Zappe is a wizard. I’ve watched this throw over and over again because of how amazing it is.
He’s feels the pressure, readjusts but somehow finds his guy in the back of the endzone and fires with perfect placement. Gutsy throw from him. pic.twitter.com/4I7D0loGsN
— Ben Glassmire (@BenGlassmireNFL) December 23, 2021
Bailey Zappe (Western Kentucky)
Numbers can often be misleading due to how broad the talent gap often is in college. Still, when a player throws 5,967 yards and 62 touchdowns in 14 games, it isn’t easy not to take notice. The sky was raining footballs with Zappe in 2021, leading to positive results. He even had 488 yards and three touchdowns against Michigan State. Teams are wary about him due to his size (6’1) and lack of mobility. However, his calm in the pocket and accuracy down the field constantly show up on tape. He can throw with timing and anticipation too.
Jack Coan popped his finger back in and then threw the game winning TD
FOOTBALL GUY pic.twitter.com/WnNYtcRtBv
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) September 11, 2021
Jack Coan (Notre Dame)
Thanks to mobile stars like Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen, pocket quarterbacks are viewed with more scorn these days. That said, a good-sized QB that can win from the pocket still has a place in football. Coan improved steadily over the course of his college career. His senior season was his best with over 3,000 yards passing, 25 touchdowns, and just seven interceptions. Coan has a solid arm and can strike down the field with accuracy. He also has a deserved reputation for being tough and calm under pressure. He is a throwback type of quarterback but has a future in the NFL with an open-minded coaching staff.
E.J. Perry (Brown)
Brown isn’t exactly a football hotbed. Only six players have been drafted from there since 1980. None of them were a quarterback. That is the sort of history Perry is working against. That said, his work under center there was impressive. He had over 5900 passing yards in two seasons with 45 touchdowns and 27 interceptions. He also demonstrated his dual-threat capability with 1100 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns. His arm strength is NFL-caliber, and he displayed consistent accuracy at the short and intermediate levels. The skillset he has fits what Ryan Poles knows best.
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