Will the Bears' long-term answer at quarterback come via the 2021 NFL draft?

Bryan Perez
NBC Sports Chicago

The Chicago Bears have kicked off their virtual 2020 NFL offseason with a position battle that no team wants as the biggest question entering training camp. Matt Nagy doesn't know who will line up as his starting quarterback in Week 1 against the Detroit Lions. The candidates -- Nick Foles and Mitch Trubisky -- both have as many appealing traits as they have concerning flaws.

Regardless of who ends up the starter in 2020, there's a chance that neither will be the long-term answer for the Bears at the game's most important position. In fact, there's already a trending narrative that Chicago will be in the quarterback market in the 2021 NFL draft. They're an early favorite to draft a passer in the first round.

According to the latest mock draft from the Draft Wire, the Bears (who pick 14th overall based on Super Bowl odds), land North Dakota State's Trey Lance in Round 1.

Lance has already become a darling of Draft Twitter as he embarks on his redshirt sophomore season. There's good reason for the fanfare, too. He threw for 28 touchdowns, ran for 14, and didn't throw a single interception in 2019. It was his first as a full-time starter for the Bison.

At 6-3 and 224 pounds, he has the prototypical physical makeup while offering the kind of running threat that's often reserved for much smaller quarterbacks.

It may be a bit too early to crown Lance as a first-round pick, however. One good season isn't enough to have unwavering confidence in a prospect's ability to succeed in the NFL. The Bears know this first-hand after selecting Trubisky with the second overall pick of the 2017 draft despite having just one season as a starter at North Carolina. 

Unlike Trubisky, Lance has plenty of eligibility remaining to build off of 2019's arrival year. And if he enjoys another big season in 2020, Chicago may not have a shot at him in Round 1 if they aren't picking in the top 10.

Will the Bears' long-term answer at quarterback come via the 2021 NFL draft? originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

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