Let's set the scene.
It's the 2017 NFL draft. You're the Chicago Bears. You have the No. 3 pick in the draft and you need a quarterback to be the franchise cornerstone for your offense, and your organization.
They're set on Mitch Trubisky. According to former director of player personnel, John Lucas on 670 the Score, the Bears were between Trubisky and Patrick Mahomes. They heavily preferred Trubisky.
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They traded the No. 3 pick, the 67th overall pick, a fourth-round pick and a third-round pick in the 2018 draft to move up one spot to secure Trubisky. When you have your eyes set on a guy, you go get him.
But what would've happened if the Browns picked Trubisky, instead of Myles Garrett?
"Up until 24 hours before the draft, we did not know who Cleveland was going to take," Lucas said. "We knew it was gonna be Mitch [Trubisky] or Myles Garrett. We knew that information. They made their final decision. From what I was told, the coaches wanted Garrett the personnel wanted Mitch.
"From that point on we knew we were gonna get Mitch, whether it was at three or two. Prior to 24 hours before the draft, we knew there was a scenario where we would take Patrick Mahomes. The scenario was 'Who do you take at three?' Do you take a position player? Do you take Patrick? Or do you try to trade back knowing Patrick probably won't go in the top 10?' That was the scenario."
All in all, if the Browns take Trubisky, Mahomes becomes a Chicago Bear.
But wait! Not so fast. Mahomes got to sit behind Alex Smith, was coached by Andy Reid and eventually got a supporting cast that included Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. Would it have been the same if Mahomes came to Chicago?
"Yes," Lucas said. "To that level? Two Super Bowls? I can't say that. [But] he is transcendent."
Let's rewind a bit again. The Bears were hard set on Trubisky over Mahomes. Fair enough. But what about Deshaun Watson? He is arguably one of the greatest college football players of his generation. He became the first player to pass for 4,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in college while winning the National Championship over Alabama.
Why was he not on the Bears' priority list?
"The majority of the grades on the player were in the second round," Lucas said of Watson. "I think we had one first round grade from Deshaun Watson from a coach. Even in that grade there was no conviction or passion."
Lucas and the Bears' rationale on Watson, which was similar to that of Mahomes, was they didn't believe either could replicate their miraculous "off-script" ability in the NFL. And the Bears believed that ability carried both of them through college.
Wow. Just wow.
Need I tell you how Watson and Mahomes' career turned out? Obviously, Watson's recent developments off the field are wildly undesirable and heinous to have in an organization. But, still, both turned out to be far better than Trubisky on the field.
Let's try another scenario. What if the Bears drafted Watson, or Mahomes, and Trubisky went to the Chiefs? Would that have been different for him?
"I think it would've been better for Mitch," Lucas said. "More established identity on offense. I think it would've benefitted him greatly. It would've added some more production to his career. But the things he's missing are still gonna be missing and they're gonna put a cap on his ceiling in the NFL."
That's one way to stick the knife in, twist it, pull it back out and repeat that 100 more times.
Not only are the Bears unable to properly evaluate quarterbacks --- to a drastic degree --- their development evidently isn't up to standard to elevate a raw prospect.