The start of the NFL Draft is nearly upon us and all eyes are on the five, or more, quarterbacks expected to come off of the board on Thursday. Unfortunately for some teams, the rookie prospects will just be stark reminders of some of their biggest misses at past drafts.
One of the franchises that falls into that category is the Chicago Bears. At the 2017 NFL Draft, the organization traded up to select Mitch Trubisky with the No. 2 overall pick. In the moment, the pick was a shock to the league, as the former UNC quarterback came off the board before Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson.
Fast forward four seasons and the Bears made just two playoff appearances, have zero new postseason wins and Trubisky is no longer in Chicago.
Prior to the start of Thursday’s first round, ESPN poured salt into the wound for Bears fans in a feature story from Gene Wojciechowski.
“Every year it happens. Ever year, NFL team after NFL team take a quarterback in the draft. Takes a leap of faith. Takes a college kid that might transform their franchise or cripple it for years to come,” Wojciechowski said as a part of ESPN’s draft coverage on Thursday.
As the last line “…cripple it for years to come” was read, a clip of Trubisky on draft night, holding up a Bears jersey flashed onto the screen.
Jesus Christ, ESPN pic.twitter.com/qpwm8gGALK
— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) April 29, 2021
Although ESPN’s assessment was harsh, it wasn’t exactly unfair. The Bears boasted one of the best defenses in the NFL, but were unable to win a playoff game during Trubisky’s tenure. After an 8-8 season in 2020, Chicago won’t pick until No. 20, which puts them in a difficult spot, likely too far away from getting a game-changing talent.
Meanwhile, Trubisky will get a fresh start in 2021, after signing a one-year deal to be the back-up on the Buffalo Bills. Although he ultimately didn’t fit on the Bears, it’s possible that he’ll get another chance one day to start in the NFL.
However, so long as he’s in the league, Trubisky will always remind the city of Chicago of what could’ve been had he panned out.