Everyone not named McDaniels, Bowlen, Cook, Cutler, or someone sleeping with said named persons will never really know what went down in the weeks leading up to the trade, but now that it has played out the way it has I feel optimistic about where we are at.
Cutler has been deemed a *franchise QB* by the MSM. Just like Vince Young after his rookie year, just like Derek Anderson after his Pro Bowl season. Now I’m not saying Jay Cutler lacked talent, because obviously we all saw that he had lots of it. But he was also surrounded by talent.
We will see which QB comes out of training camp starting; my money is on Kyle Orton, based on what everyone in Chicago has been saying. He seems to be the opposite of Jay Cutler, which is exactly what McDaniels wanted, I guess. A guy who will rally the troops when it matters most, which will fit into the system and play by coaches rules, rather than the hot headed QB who will throw it into triple coverage, trying to make something out of nothing. Not to say I won’t miss those hot headed throws, they made me jump for joy many times…but I will not miss the interceptions and failed drives.
I bet Orton will be grateful for the opportunity to man the helm of this offense. His stats in Chicago weren’t bad considering the talent around him. 18 TD’s isn’t much, but only 12 INT’s is impressive. Especially considering how run oriented the Bears are, and considering no one even knows the names of his Wide Receivers.
So we have taken a significant but not unbearable drop off at one position albeit the most important position, and in exchange we have the 18th and 84th pick as well as Chicago’s First Rounder next season. I have listed some recent 18th and 84th picks:
2008 18 Baltimore Ravens Joe Flacco Quarterback Delaware
84 Atlanta Falcons Harry Douglas Wide receiver Louisville
2007 18 Cincinnati Bengals Leon Hall Cornerback Michigan
84 St. Louis Rams Jonathan Wade Cornerback Tennessee
2006 18 Dallas Cowboys Bobby Carpenter Linebacker Ohio State
84 San Francisco Brandon Williams Wide Receiver Wisconsin
2005 18 Minnesota Vikings Erasmus James Defensive End Univ. of Wisconsin
84 New England Patriots Ellis Hobbs Cornerback Iowa State
2004 18 New Orleans Saints Will Smith Defensive end Ohio State
84 Seattle Seahawks Sean Locklear Guard NC State
2003 18 Arizona Cardinals Calvin Pace Defensive End Wake Forest
84 Cleveland Browns Chris Crocker Safety Marshall
2002 18 Atlanta Falcons T. J. Duckett Running Back Michigan State
84 St. Louis Rams Lamar Gordon Fullback North Dakota State
2001 18 Detroit Lions Jeff Backus Tackle Michigan
84 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Dwight Smith Free Safety Akron
2000 18 New York Jets Chad Pennington Quarterback Marshall
84 Miami Dolphins Ben Kelly Cornerback University of Colorado
Of these players only one has been to a pro bowl, Will Smith the 2004 18th round pick. Hopefully McDaniels/Xanders can choose better than the other people who have come before them, because everything counts on that. They have gambled a sure thing, in Jay Cutler, for an opportunity to bring in some impact players for our defense. And I believe they will draft defense only with our first rounders and probably our second round selection as well. If they want a QB I think they will choose someone in a later round to sit on the bench and develop, or as many here at MHR have mentioned, wait until the deep QB class of 2010.
If they can draft 5 starters on defense and Kyle Orton or Chris Simms come in and produce with the talent that is surrounding them there is no reason we can’t expect to win at least as many games as last year. But my expectations for this year aren’t high, due to the tough schedule and implementation of a new offense and defense. But lookout for 2011 when they get another two first round selections. If we can draft properly and build this team the way the Patriots, Steelers, and Colts have successfully built their teams we can be good for a long time, even without Jay Cutler.
By the way my favorite response to the trade was Brian Urlacher’s "I guess he will make us a better team."
I think that Chicago is going to be sadly surprised by the fact that even a great QB won’t succeed without the right tools, and they traded away their ability to surround him with great tools, oh yeah besides an aging veteran Left Tackle. Poor Jay will be walking into a locker room with a huge weight on his shoulders. Kyle Orton was a big part of that locker room and Jay will have a tough time considering how much the Bears paid for him on top of his shenanigans this off-season.
We won’t know for many years if this trade was a steal or not, and it will depend much on what the Broncos can make out of this draft and the next. Too bad we fired the guys responsible for the last few good drafts….here is hoping McXanders know what they are doing!