| February 23, 2018

Column: Making something out of nothing

May 1, 2017

The Chicago Bears made headlines moments into the 2017 NFL draft.

The Bears already held the No. 3 pick in the draft, but decided that was just not good enough. General Manager Ryan Pace traded a handful of picks for the No. 2 selection with the San Francisco 49ers. With the higher pick, Chicago selected quarterback Mitchell Trubisky from North Carolina.

The Bears’ pick signals a dangerous trend that has taken hold of the NFL in recent years. Three times in the last five years, two quarterbacks were selected with the first two picks in the draft.

It started with Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III in 2012. Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston were the next to take the top two spots, followed by Jared Goff and Carson Wentz in 2015.

This year, although quarterbacks did not dominate the first round, a handful did go earlier than some thought was deserving, Trubisky being the perfect example.

Trubisky is an example of what happens when scouts and the media get overly zealous in their coverage of a player. Yes, his accuracy is above-average and his mechanics are well developed for a one-year starter.

But that’s just it, he only started one year for the Tarheels. Trubisky is wildly inexperienced and unproven, leading many to question his draft stock.

That did not stop the Bears, who opted out of tapping one of the strongest defensive drafts in recent memory and took a chance with Trubisky.

The Bears join one of the many teams thirsty for a quarterback capable of securing multiple Super Bowl rings. The fervor gets stronger every year, especially when a player like Tom Brady shows the league how valuable an excellent quarterback can be.

But each year, a team reaches a bit too far looking for the next Brady, the next Peyton Manning or the next Brett Farve. Griffin III had flashes of potential, but the Washington Redskins would have been wiser to not trade up to draft him. Goff, the most sought-after quarterback of last year, looked like a high school freshman on the field, while Wentz went on the look sloppier with every passing game.

Deshaun Watson, who scouts believed to be a safer option than Trubisky, was drafted by the Houston Texans later in the draft. The Texans were smart to wait and see whWatson, unlike Trubisky, has multiple years of starting experience, as well as two National Championship appearances and one title.

NFL teams need to realize that while a quarterback can determine long-term success to a degree, there are other positions that are just as valuable.

Tom Brady would not have won his fifth Super Bowl without the remarkable hands of Julian Edelman. Peyton Manning could not have ridden off into the sunset without Von Miller leading Denver’s dominant defense. Seattle would still be devoid of a Super Bowl without the Legion of Boom.

The frenzy over future franchise quarterbacks needs to stop. Quarterbacks are important, but one player does not make a championship team.

Brandon Hill can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu

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