When I woke up on Saturday to the news that Khalil Mack was a Chicago Bear I was beside myself with joy. I mean we filled our biggest need with one of the best possible answers, and we are far enough under the salary cap to extend him. Then the alarms went off…what did the Bears sacrifice in order to get him? Word on the street had been two first round picks. In my mind, that’s a small enough price. But the prospect that it could be more was worrying me.
It turns out it was less…sort of. The Bears did give up two first round picks. Next year and the following year. However, they also got to swap a third round pick for a second round pick next season. It’s this pick swap that I want to talk about, because it’s not insignificant. In fact, I think it was a brilliant move by the Bears GM Ryan Pace.
Think of the impact this trade could have on each team this season. The Bears are gaining a top three NFL defender out of thin air. The Chicago defense is now championship level when healthy. A move like this could propel the Bears to a division title or wild card. Right now I have them making the playoffs with the Vikings winning the division. Then look over to Oakland where a new coach seems to be rebuilding this team by dismantling it first. They are now very likely going to finish last in the division and could be one of the worst teams in football.
Now let’s go back to the pick swap under the assumption that the Bears finish with a relatively good record, and the Raiders finish near the bottom of the AFC. The first round pick the Raiders will get from Chicago will be near the END of the FIRST ROUND. The second round pick the Bears gained in the swap will be near the TOP of the SECOND ROUND. While the third round pick they lost in the swap will be at the back end of the third closer to the 4th. So if the season plays out like this, what did the Bears really give up? The difference between a first and second rounder is supposed to be 32 picks all thing being equal but in reality, that difference has the potential to be MUCH less. If you want to call the difference of 5-10 spots at the end of the first round a bit of a wash, then the Bears only really gave up a first and a late round third for Mack.
Khalil Mack meanwhile was the #5 overall pick…then he panned out better than expected. The draft capital it takes just to get the #5 pick never mind if it pans outs…is at least two first rounds picks. The Bears robbed the Raiders…the Autumn wind has blown back on Oakland.
I’d just like to say this is further proof that Raiders Fans can’t have nice things. You finally get #blessed with a difference maker to build around and you’re either too stupid or too poor to be able to hold onto it. I can’t wait to see what players the Raiders take with those picks, they will be transcendent I’m sure. The Raiders usually draft pretty well. JaMarcus Russell.