Could the Bears land the next Tom Brady in the 2021 NFL draft?

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Bryan Perez
·2 min read
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The Chicago Bears currently hold the 20th overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. It isn’t a premium first-round selection, and it doesn’t appear like it will be within striking distance for any of the top quarterback prospects.

But maybe that’s a good thing?

According to ESPN senior draft analyst, Mel Kiper Jr., the Bears’ first-round pick could still pay big dividends if it’s used on Alabama QB Mac Jones, who Kiper compared to the greatest who’s ever lived, Tom Brady.

I hate to say, but he kind of has a little bit of [Tom] Brady in him. I’m not saying he’s ever going to be Tom Brady. He wouldn’t be close, probably. But he has that competitiveness, and he’s so smart — he picked that offense up [at the Senior Bowl] like it was nothing. Other quarterbacks were struggling with the verbiage and — ‘boom!’ — he was in and out of the huddle quicker than anybody I’ve ever seen.

Then he sees the field. He’s tremendously accurate to all levels. He doesn’t have the ‘wow’ arm, like Brady didn’t either coming into the league. And like Brady, he’s not real mobile, not a runner. But biding time, slipping and sliding, he did it in the championship game. So there are some similarities there.

The general consensus in the draft industry is that Jones ranks fifth in the 2021 quarterback pecking order. Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, and Trey Lance are all graded higher by most evaluators, with Jones still garnering first-round love, albeit the latter portion of the top-32.

If Jones slips to the Bears, and GM Ryan Pace hasn’t done anything in free agency or via trade to improve the quarterback room, selecting Jones would make a ton of sense. He’s an accurate passer with big-game experience who dominated the SEC conference, which is essentially the NFL-lite. Is he as physically gifted as the other guys ranked ahead of him? No, he isn’t.

But neither was Brady, right?