Chicago Bears GM: We like three players at No. 3 NFL draft pick

  • Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace, left, says the organization has three players in mind to consider with the No. 3 pick in Thursday's first round of the NFL draft.

    Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace, left, says the organization has three players in mind to consider with the No. 3 pick in Thursday's first round of the NFL draft. Associated Press/file

Updated 4/26/2017 2:06 PM

It's an exciting time for general manager Ryan Pace and the Bears organization because they have the third overall pick in a strong draft that begins with Round One Thursday night.

With a high pick, however, comes a great deal of pressure to draft an immediate-impact player.


"Picking so high, you do feel that responsibility," Pace said.

The Bears' evaluation process began last August, and Pace is mindful not to overthink the situation as he prepares to conduct his third draft for the Bears.

"You just trust what your eyes see and don't over-think it," he said. "Trust your conviction and trust your instincts and trust your gut. You can get into trouble right now if you're up there watching additional tape and doing all that.

"You can over-scout players. By now we've got enough opinions. We've met with enough players. We've been through the Combine and been through the pro days and seen players play live. I don't think we're in a situation where we're overthinking anything."

Pace has done a masterful job of disguising the Bears' intentions, as evident by the various rumors of whic player they will take at No. 3.

Some say a quarterback (Clemson's Deshaun Watson or North Carolina's Mitchell Trubisky). But most go defense, although various projections have them taking one of the top two linemen (Alabama's Jonathan Allen or Stanford's Solomon Thomas), or one of the top two safeties (Ohio State's Malik Hooker or LSU's Jamal Adams) or the top cornerback, Ohio State's Marshon Lattimore.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service

The Bears need help almost everywhere, so any of the defensive players would be an upgrade. That gives them the benefit of being true to their draft board.

"You get yourself into trouble if you're not sticking with our philosophy of (taking the) best player available," Pace said. "When you start trying to manufacture things or create things, that's when teams get into dangerous water.

"If we just stay with guys we have a consensus on and (take the) best player available, we'll be in good shape."

That would seem to indicate the Bears won't take a quarterback at No. 3, since most draft analysts don't grade any of the QBs in this class that high.

But maybe the Bears do.

Pace says the Bears have "three names right now that we like," at No. 3, but it's anyone's guess who those three are.


And the Bears might not even keep the pick, opting to trade down and acquire additional choices.

"Everything's on the table," Pace said. "That just gives us flexibility. People always ask, 'Have you received calls?' That's going on a lot right now with every team, and that's not unusual.

"Even after the first round, it'll go on for our fourth pick in the second round (36th).

Last year's draft provided three starters and building blocks for the future -- running back Jordan Howard, outside linebacker Leonard Floyd and center Cody Whitehair. But coming off a 3-13 season, there's still a long way to go.

With two picks in the first 36, Pace has an opportunity to help the Bears escape the NFC North cellar, where they've been for three straight seasons.

"The blueprint of building this team is through the draft," Pace said. "Every single one of these drafts is critical."

• Follow Bob's Bears reports on Twitter @BobLeGere.

Go to comments: 0 posted

Get articles sent to your inbox.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.