INDIANAPOLIS – Bears GM Phil Emery has said that he would like to draft a quarterback every year, to keep a promising young arm in development. He wasn’t able to in his first two Bears drafts because of being short a pick due to the trade for Brandon Marshall, but the expectation is that he will find a way to secure one in this year’s draft.
Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch was high on their dance card here at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Lynch said Friday that the Bears, Oakland Raiders, Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins were among the 10 teams to meet with him. Lynch told CSNChicago.com that it would be “a dream come true” to play for the Bears.
While speculation has been that Lynch would be better suited for a position other than quarterback, the Bears are looking at the Heisman Trophy finalist as a quarterback. And Lynch had a simple message for NFL teams considering him:
“I told them they’re going make a huge mistake if they don’t put me at quarterback,” said Lynch, who measured officially at 6 feet, “maybe a little more.”
The height issue has been relegated to lesser significance by the likes of Drew Brees and Russell Wilson winning Super Bowls for New Orleans and Seattle, both from the height vantage points in Lynch’s range. Not surprisingly, Lynch cited them as his two role models.
Lynch even turned his height into an asset, in case NFL teams would like another way to look at him, as well as Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, who measured 5-11 ¾ at the Combine.
“I’m not that 6-5 pocket passer,” Lynch said. “But not a lot of DBs can get a read on your eyes, either. They can’t see me over the offensive and defensive linemen. And I can’t always see my receiver so you have to trust the system.”
Lynch has gotten advice from former NIU teammate Chandler Harnish, the final player taken in the 2012 draft but who managed to earn a spot on the Indianapolis Colts’ practice squad and is signed for 2014 with the Colts.
Noting that he must have been doing something right to be 24-4 as a starter for Northern Illinois, Lynch further dismissed concerns about his size: “I can hold the ball with one hand and throw it,” he said. “That’s all you need to know.”
What the Bears need to know extends a little beyond that. They are intent on bringing back Josh McCown as backup to Jay Cutler but cannot strike a deal until Mar. 11, and McCown is in position to entertain other NFL offers. They also have had time with Matt Blanchard, an undrafted free agent who left with an injury settlement after preseason and who signed with the Carolina Panthers practice squad for the last half of 2013.
“We’ll see where we are with the draft,” coach Marc Trestman said. “We’re going to evaluate all the quarterbacks that we think can play and we’ll make decisions accordingly…I’ve been in quarterback rooms where we’ve had a young player; I’ve been in quarterback rooms where we haven’t.
“Again, it’s whatever is best for the football team. If that player can be developed and help our football team now and in the future, I’m sure he’ll be in the consideration.”