It’s no secret the Chicago Bears need a franchise quarterback, and Bears insider Adam Hoge of NBC Sports has the team addressing that problem in a big way in his final mock draft before the real thing kicks off on April 29. After signing veteran Andy Dalton to a one-year, $10 million deal this offseason, the Bears have already named the Red Rifle the starter, with Nick Foles the presumed backup. Dalton is 33-years-old, and Foles is 32, however, so it’s clear Chicago needs a jolt of youth in its quarterbacks room.
Hoge has solved that problem in a creative way. He’s got Chicago moving back in the 1st round of the draft to select quarterback Kellen Mond out of Texas A&M in his latest mock, and he also has the team nabbing another young signal-caller in the 6th round.
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QB No. 1 in Hoge’s Mock Draft: Kellen Mond (1st Round, 25th overall)
Mond has been moving up draft boards after a solid senior season with the Aggies, an MVP-winning performance in the Senior Bowl and a standout Pro Day performance he scripted himself, which is a rare thing for a young quarterback to do. Many have him getting taken in the 2nd round, but others, like Hoge, argue he wouldn’t be a reach in the 1st.
“I’m not sure how Bears fans will feel about Kellen Mond in the first round, but I find very little not to like on tape,” Hoge says. “In Mond, the Bears get an experienced, mobile quarterback with a big arm who increased his completion percentage and improved his decision-making each year at Texas A&M. Consistency is the big question mark and Mond would have to earn the trust of Matt Nagy before taking over the starting duties from Andy Dalton.”
I spoke to Mond on Tuesday over the phone, and he said he thinks it would be a “phenomenal experience” to learn behind any one of the league’s veteran starters, and it was clear he’s a cerebral student of the game. “With my college experience, I feel like I’m definitely ahead of the curve,” he said. I think he’s absolutely right.
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QB No. 2 in Hoge’s Mock Draft: Feleipe Franks (6th Round, 228th overall)
In addition to Mond, Hoge has the Bears taking a swing on Feleipe Franks, who spent three seasons at Florida before transferring to Arkansas as a senior in 2020. Franks completed 68.5 percent of his passes last season for 2,107 yards, 17 touchdowns and four interceptions.
“Multiple swings at quarterback. Why not?,” Hoge wrote. “Franks has outstanding size and has good footwork to elude rushers and reset before throwing him. His operation is smooth, and he uncorks some beautiful deep balls. He’s not great off-platform and needs to be more consistent, but there could be some untapped upside left. Franks’ NFL hopes were on life support after getting hurt at Florida in 2019, but he showed a lot of improvement at Arkansas in less than ideal circumstances. He’s worth a flyer with the last pick in the sixth round.”
I don’t know that they’ll draft two, considering Mitch Trubisky has been the only quarterback GM Ryan Pace has selected since getting hired in 2015, but the odds the Bears will address the position seem to be going up by the minute, and we’ll know soon enough who they have their eye on.
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