The Broncos originally owned this pick, but I’ve decided to include one trade in this mock. The Bears will move up to select Mac Jones with the ninth pick.
The move makes sense for the Bears. They have only Andy Dalton and Nick Foles under contract at quarterback right now. Both are moving into the “past their prime” territory across the league, and neither figures to move the needle much for the Bears, who have a roster that is ready to win now.
Mac Jones has gotten a lot of hate in the draft process, but he remains one of the most accurate passers in this year’s draft class. His ball placement is elite and was one of the reasons that Alabama’s receivers were able to consistently catch the ball in stride last year.
Additionally, Jones reads the field very well and rarely makes mistakes. Turnovers are something that plagued the Bears under Trubisky, so they may see Jones as an upgrade and as someone who can effectively distribute the ball to Allen Robinson, Darnell Mooney, and Anthony Miller.
As for the Broncos, if they don’t like Jones more than Drew Lock, the board doesn’t play out favorably for them. They don’t necessarily need another receiver and while going with a tackle like Rashawn Slater here could work, picking up extra draft capital and still having a shot at a top tackle or linebacker later sounds appealing.
The No. 9 pick could be a hot spot for a trade, so look out for it on draft day. Perhaps if Justin Fields slips in the draft and Denver doesn’t want him, a team like Washington or New England could move up to pursue the Ohio State product.