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You can't build through the draft when you have half as many picks as your primary rivals.
Is that somehow complicated? Did I miss something?
Last year, Bears general manager Ryan Pace made one of the most ill-advised trades in Bears history when he gave up three valuable picks to move up one spot to No. 2 to make absolutely, positively sure he could draft utterly mediocre-so-far quarterback Mitch Trubisky.
I have said this before and I will now say it again (and again in future columns I'm sure): A good general manager coming off a 3-13 season and needing to build through the draft would have traded down to take Deshaun Watson, the quarterback the Texans took with the 12th pick in the first round.
Watson was clearly much more promising in six games early in the 2017 season than Trubisky was in about twice as much action overall. And yes, Watson was working with two better wide receivers than the Bears have. But if wide receiver talent is everything, why was it that the other Texans quarterbacks couldn't get anything done after Watson went down with a knee injury?
To be clear again, the Bears could have traded down and had at least four more draft picks and Watson. Instead they traded up and left themselves with only five picks in last year's draft. Oh, and they don't have a third-round pick in this year's draft.
This is not building through the draft! Just because Pace says that is what he is doing doesn't mean it is actually happening!
The teams that are building through the draft, such as the Packers, Lions and Vikings (never have all three of the Bear's primary rivals been further ahead of them than they are right now), piled up picks last year.
The Lions had nine, the Packers had 10 and, yes, the Vikings had 11 picks. Reminder - the Bears had five. How stupid does Pace think fans are? The Bears have managed to gather seven total picks in the coming draft. That isn't anything special but it isn't a disaster like last year.
The bottom line is, this team has made no progress during the last three years no matter what chairman George McCaskey and team president/accountant Ted Phillips say. The Bears are supposedly well into a rebuilding process but don't have significant depth anywhere on their roster.
Oh, and there is the small matter of not having playmakers of note, at any position (including quarterback by the way - what plays that Trubisky made in any of his starts stand out as game-changers?). That much was clear after the Bears were shut out of starting spots in the Pro Bowl.
I suppose there is one way to look at all this with some optimism. McCaskey and Phillips were almost desperate in their efforts to pump up Pace yesterday. Phillips managed to make it through his statement without even mentioning the team's now former coach John Fox.
Perhaps there is some accountability for the guys who failed when they hired Phil Emery and Marc Trestman five years ago and failed when they hired Fox and Pace. Perhaps they know that if Pace goes down, they should go down with him. But good luck selling the fan base that version of things after seven straight years of not making the playoffs.
And good luck with the rebuild, through free agency.
Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.