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2017 NFL mock draft: Deshaun Watson goes to Chicago Bears at No. 3

We have our first surprise pick in the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock

NCAA Football: ACC Football Championship Game-Clemson vs North Carolina Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

We have the first pick in the 2017 SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft that could be perceived as a surprise.

The Chicago Bears made a splash in free agency by signing veteran quarterbacks Mike Glennon and Mark Sanchez to go along with David Fales and Connor Shaw. The key player there, of course, is Glennon. He was given a three-year deal worth $45 million, which may seem like a lot. But relative to other quarterback contracts – and a structuring that allows the Bears to get out of it after a year – it’s not a terrible deal.

It may not stop the Bears from targeting a quarterback with the third overall pick in the draft. Perhaps that’s what Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. of Windy City Gridiron had in mind when he made this choice:

3. Bears: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson

Wiltfong: I can’t see Bears GM Ryan Pace passing on a quarterback if he has the top one left on his board. I’m guessing he favors the national champion Watson over the “inexperienced” Mitchell Trubisky, but that’s just speculation on my part. Pace likes winners from big programs, and he set his team up to bring a rookie QB along slowly with the addition of Glennon. If Watson needs some time to acclimate himself to the pro game, he’ll have it in Chicago.

Watson may be lacking elite arm strength, but he makes up for that in athleticism and those all-important intangibles. The Bears need a legit top prospect at the quarterback position, and history tells us the odds of getting one in the later rounds are slim.

I also considered Solomon Thomas and Jamal Adams, but with the strength of this draft class being on the defensive side of the ball, there will be time to add to those positions later.

Analysis: There are two distinct ways to look at this pick. The first one is that it’s bad because the Bears brought in Glennon, so they might not need to rush on a quarterback with the third overall pick. The second way to look at it is that it’s a savvy pick. Glennon could be a bridge starter for Watson, albeit an expensive one. It won’t come as a surprise if the Bears take a quarterback at some point in this year’s draft. Taking one with the third pick, however, would be a surprise.

Dan's top five players remaining

  • 2. Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama
  • 3. Jamal Adams, S, LSU
  • 5. Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
  • 6. Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
  • 7. Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State

Bears picks

  • 1-3: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
  • 2-36: (coming April 11)

That does it for Day One of the 2017 SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft. We’ll be back at 9 a.m. ET tomorrow with a pick for the Jacksonville Jaguars courtesy of Big Cat Country.


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