Four possible trade-back options for Bears

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Feb 18, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace speaks at a press conference during the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

MMQB’s Peter King reported early Monday morning that the Chicago Bears, along with the 49ers and Jets, are the “most antsy to move back in a market with few teams wanting to move up.” There are a couple possible landing spots for the No. 3 overall pick that jump to mind, and that Ryan Pace should consider come next Thursday.

Carolina Panthers

There is a virtual guarantee that Solomon Thomas and/or Leonard Fournette will be available to the Bears at No. 3, but a high possibility they will both be gone after the Jaguars select at No. 4, and almost certainly by when Carolina picks at No. 8. The Panthers sound like perfect suitors for both of these players, as their two biggest positional needs are defensive end and running back.

If either Thomas or Fournette are taken No. 2 overall by San Francisco, the other will very likely be gone at No. 4. Thomas is by far seen the best pass rusher outside of Myles Garrett, and Fournette is the best-graded running back by a mile. Carolina, being one year removed from a Super Bowl appearance, is probably the most talented team in the top 10, and they are going to be looking for rookies who can make an instant impact. None who look to fall to No. 8 can quite like Thomas and Fournette.

While trading down to No. 8 for the Bears may stop them from getting Marshon Lattimore, Jamal Adams, or Malik Hooker, it does leave them in a lot better position to select a quarterback, something many executives reportedly expect the Bears to do if they stay at No. 3. If the Jets do select a quarterback at No. 6 overall, it leaves the door open to take one of those three defensive backs, as I do not envision Jacksonville taking one of them.


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Cleveland Browns

The Browns, who hold both Nos. 1 and 12 overall, are reportedly worried that both North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and Alabama tight end O.J. Howard will be gone by their pick at No. 12. Therefore, they are one of the teams vying to move up, ensuring them selecting one of the two.

While taking either of those two might be a stretch at No. 3 overall for the Browns, there isn’t exactly a better viable trade partner. While the Jets are looking for a trade partner to trade down with, I can’t envision them trading their pick away to another team eying a quarterback.

The Browns hold not only the No. 12 overall pick, but also the 33rd and 51st picks. In a draft which many consider to be the deepest the league has seen in a long time, the Bears would be smart to accumulate those picks on top of the No. 12. Trading down to 12 leaves the Bears with a prime spot to take a quarterback without insanely stretching, as at least three of the top four quarterbacks in this draft (Mahomes, Watson, Kizer, Trubisky) will most likely be available. Adding No. 33 allows them to select one of the first-round-caliber cornerbacks who will inevitably fall into the second round as well. This would allow for plenty of options three picks later, when the Bears make their selection at 37.

Tennessee Titans

This is rather unlikely to happen, as the Bears trading down to the No. 5 overall pick would require them to pass on either Jamal Adams or Malik Hooker for it to happen. That being said, it is a very interesting thing to think about.

There hasn’t been an indication that the Bears have a massive preference between the two safeties, given their desperate need for secondary help all around the board. A trade down to No. 5 would most likely allow the Titans take Adams with the third pick, most likely leaving Hooker for the Bears two picks later. If Tennessee truly wants Adams enough to trade up to get him, the Bears would be fools not to take the deal, assuming they get the Titans’ other first-round selection.

Tennessee holds the 18th pick, though the Titans would most likely give it up just to move up two spots. One possible building block for a trade would assume to be one of Chicago’s two fourth-round selections, as they have both the fourth and tenth picks in the fourth round. It would for sure be a complicated deal – at least in comparison to the Panthers or Browns trades – but is totally feasible if Tennessee truly thinks Jamal Adams is the next Eric Berry.

Buffalo Bills

The Bills made it clear that Tyrod Taylor is not their long-term quarterback, reportedly looking to cut and trade him before signing him to a two-year contract this offseason. His contract does have an out after this season, leaving the door open to a new quarterback coming in for the 2018 season.

This is where the Bears pick comes in. The Bills, whom MMQB says is the best fit for Mitchell Trubisky, may have to leapfrog the Jets to be able to take him. While the Jaguars and Titans have shown no inclination that they want to trade down, the Bears have. While No. 3 overall is probably a stretch for Trubisky, it would be the spot the Bills have to trade to.

Buffalo holds the 10th overall pick in the draft, as well as the 42nd overall pick. The Bears already hold Buffalo’s fourth-round pick as a result of the trade for the Bills to select Reggie Ragland in the second round last season. Any trade between these teams would likely see the Bears acquire another pick for the 2018 draft. They could take advantaged of its stacked quarterback class.

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