The Bears didn’t add a quarterback in this draft (for reasons discussed below) and it’s reasonable to wonder if part of the reason was because the Phil Emery and the new coaching staff are feeling better and better about Jay Cutler.
“Given the player on the [draft] board, the value of that player, where we were able pick them with the current strength of our quarterback roster,” Emery said, “we felt very good about where we were at.”
Feeling “very good” in a mention of the quarterback roster is perhaps telling. We’ll see.
[MORE: Anatomy of a "run": QB blitz leaves Bears out in 4th round]
Interestingly, the New York Giants with Eli Manning, the Pittsburgh Steelers with Ben Roethlisberger and the Oakland Raiders after their trade for Matt Flynn still drafted quarterbacks in this draft’s fourth round, as did the Washington Redskins in the 2012 draft after landing Robert Griffin III.
This was the second straight draft the Bears failed to select a quarterback, meaning that it is eight straight drafts without the Bears acquiring an NFL quarterback via draft picks. The last was Kyle Orton in 2005, since neither Dan LeFevour in 2010 nor Nathan Enderle in 2011 ever saw an NFL field as a Bear.
One result is that the Bears do not have a young quarterback in the pipeline beyond undrafted free agent Matt Blanchard.
[RELATED: Bears have have hit a home run by going Long]
The problems in this draft were that the Bears had just five picks going in, and that the trade market was surprisingly stingy. Had the Bears traded down 10 picks in round one, for example, they would have added no more than a low third-round pick, probably not gotten Kyle Long, and they weren’t in position to trade up into the QB run in mid-round four.
“With five picks and the number of players we wanted to add at the positions we wanted to add them, I don’t know how practical [drafting a quarterback] was,” Emery said. “It had to be the right value for the team and things would have to line up perfect to take a quarterback with five picks."
Perhaps Phil Emery foresaw this when the Bears moved early in free agency to lock up Josh McCown rather than wait until training camp or later. For perspective purposes, in case there’s a notion that McCown is too old, McCown turns 34 in July. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees are older. Tony Romo just turned 33 and Michael Vick is 33 in June. Carson Palmer turns 34 in December.