The NFL Combine has a plethora of storylines that continue to surface, but what the Bears are going to do with the top pick has bubbled to the top. Several NFL teams that are in need of a franchise quarterback are weighing the option of trading with the Chicago Bears for the number one overall pick in the upcoming draft. Bears general manager Ryan Poles confirmed that the pick is officially for sale, which has piqued the interest of several teams who are in need of a quarterback.
Poles stated that there could be a scenario where the Bears could trade the top pick before free agency begins in less than two weeks. He also noted that the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine could serve as the perfect venue for teams to explore trade packages for their top prospects, such as Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud.
Here is what some of the general managers and head coaches of NFL teams, which select after the Detroit Lions in the draft and are in need of a franchise quarterback, had to say about their quarterback situation at the combine:
Raiders GM Dave Ziegler and HC Josh McDaniels
The Raiders are seeking a perfect match for their quarterback needs, with Ziegler stating that there is always urgency at that position. McDaniels emphasized the importance of drafting and developing a quarterback, citing the success of young players being developed by their clubs under the same continuity.
Head coach Josh McDaniels is not afraid of finding a quarterback to develop.
“I think there’s always urgency at that position,” McDaniels said. “The goal for us eventually is to have somebody that’s going to be here for a long time. I think that you see the teams that are having success right now in our league. I would say in our conference, and specifically, in our division, they’re young players that were drafted by their clubs, and they’re being developed there under the same continuity. And so, I think that eventually, yes. Do I think you have to do that if you’re not sure or sold on the player, and now you’re making a mistake just to try and say that you’re trying to solve a problem? I don’t think that’s really a smart decision.
“But the goal, eventually, is to try to have a young player here that’s going to be a Raider for a long time.”
Panthers GM Scott Fitterer and HC Frank Reich
Both Fitterer and Reich believe that drafting and developing a quarterback is the ideal scenario. Although the Panthers sit at number nine, Fitterer is exploring ways to get in a position to land a top prospect, while Reich reiterated the benefits of continuity on the roster and salary cap reasons.
“In an ideal world, you always want to draft a quarterback,” Fitterer said. “Draft, develop and have that guy here for five, 10 years. You wanna have that consistency. It helps for many different reasons. The continuity on your roster, for salary cap reasons. There’s so many benefits at drafting and developing. That is the right route to go.
“We’ll see if we can get in a position where we can get one of the guys we like. Is there a guy there in the second round? Can we get up in the first round? Those are all the things we’re exploring right now. But, yes, you’re right. I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong to look at the veteran route if you can’t do that. But in an ideal world, you do wanna draft.”
Falcons GM Terry Fontenot
Fontenot remains noncommittal about naming a starting quarterback, stating that they’re not done adding to the QB room. He expressed excitement about Desmond Ridder’s potential but is looking to add more players to the position through free agency or the draft.
“Desmond (Ridder) has done some good things. We know he’s going to continue to improve this offseason, and we’re going to continue to add to the position, whether it’s free agency, the draft, or both,” said Fontenot.
“We’ve talked about the quarterback position and how we want to make sure we continue to add to that position, and we want to keep bringing players in. Really excited about Desmond, and yet we’re going to add to the position.”
Titans GM Ran Carthon and HC Mike Vrabel
While many thought the Titans would be a candidate to trade up to acquire a quarterback, Carthon revealed that they are open to trading back. Vrabel emphasized the importance of adding great players to their roster. This is including a quarterback, while focusing on filling their needs and holes.
“We’re always open for business,” Carthon said. “All the guys, you’ve got my number. Call me. It’s always about being open to trying to continue to add value. We’ll listen and field every call and see what comes from it.”
Head coach Mike Vrabel added, “I am going to say this for every player. I am open to adding great players to our roster. Whether that’s at quarterback, that’s at running back, that’s at defensive line, corner,” Vrabel said. “I do believe that we have some needs and some holes. I’ve asked (scouts) to look for players who have an element of speed, violence and versatility. … Look for offensive linemen that can protect the quarterback. Whether that’s Ryan (Tannehill), whether that’s Malik (Willis), whether that’s Josh Dobbs, whoever that might end up being. Those are things we have to do a better job at.”
Moving Forward Through the NFL Combine
With the possibility of trading for a franchise quarterback, teams are expected to explore what a trade package would look like to move up and draft their top prospects. The NFL Scouting Combine provides an opportunity for these conversations to take place. However, it remains to be seen how these teams will navigate the upcoming draft.
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