With the Jay Cutler era finally over in Chicago, the Bears made a bold move to address their long-standing quarterback problem Thursday.
The Bears swapped draft picks with the San Francisco 49ers, moving up one spot to the No. 2 position to select former North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. The move follows on the heels of the Bears signing former Tampa Bay Buccaneers backup quarterback Mike Glennon to a three-year, $45 million deal last month.
Chicago paid a steep price for Trubisky, sending the 49ers third- and fourth-round picks this year and a third-round pick in 2018.
Glennon, who is guaranteed $18.5 million for the first 12 months but nothing afterward, presumably will fill the position only until the Bears feel Trubisky is prepared to take over.
“I’m going into a great situation, where Mike is the starter,” Trubisky told reporters. “So I look forward to learning from him and the other veterans on the team. I just have to come in and prove myself, learn the offense as quick as possible and help the Chicago Bears win.”
Trubisky, who stands 6-2 and possesses a strong arm, started for only one season at North Carolina, He previously served as the backup to Marquise Williams, who had a brief stint with the Green Bay Packers.
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Trubisky completed 68 percent of his passes and boosted his stock in postseason workouts.
“I look forward to going in and competing as always,” Trubisky said. “Everywhere I have been, my whole life I have been a competitor. I’m going to learn from the guys, and help them as well."
As for the high price paid by the Bears, Trubisky told reporters, "It’s my job to go in there and prove them right that they made the right decision."
The Bears' move began a trend of teams moving up to grab quarterbacks, with the Kansas City Chiefs trading into the No. 10 spot to draft former Texas Tech star Patrick Mahomes II and the Houston Texans maneuvering into the No. 12 position to take Deshaun Watson, who guided Clemson to the national championship.
Picking at No. 21, the Lions boosted their defense by selecting former Florida inside linebacker Jarrad Davis. The Lions were said to be attracted by Davis' reputation as a great athlete with a high football IQ who's also a solid citizen and intense competitor, with the ability to be an immediate starter.
Davis (6-1, 238 pounds) missed a portion of the 2016 season with a high ankle sprain that also prevented him from working out at the NFL scouting combine. But he impressed at his pro day, according to the Detroit Free Press, clocking in the 4.6-second range in the 40-yard dash and jumping 38.5 inches.
“He’s always been a great young man,” Jeff Herron, Davis' high school coach, told the Free Press. “If you walked in our weight room, he was always the hardest-working guy in there. If you went to his classroom, he was always the hardest-working guy in there. Just great teammate, he’s going to do everything right, he’s going to do what you asked him to do, he’s going to do it full speed. Just a really, really good young man.”
The Vikings didn’t have a first-round pick, having sent it to Philadelphia last year in a trade for quarterback Sam Bradford. Their first selection will come Friday in the second round (No. 48 overall).
Minnesota used free agency to address some of its biggest needs, signing tackles Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers to plug holes on a leaky offensive line, and running back Latavius Murray to replace the departed Adrian Peterson.
Look for the Vikings to seek more offensive-line help with their eight draft picks, as well as a running back and wide receiver. Minnesota also figures to be in the market for a defensive tackle, a linebacker and a safety.