If a top QB falls on draft night, this team may be competition for Washington

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Peter Hailey
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In terms of moving up, this team may be competition for WFT originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

If a top quarterback slips/slides/falls/drops/tumbles/whatever-your-preferred-term-is-for-such-things during the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft, what will Washington do? Trying to escape that topic is like trying to get away from Chase Young. It's essentially impossible. 

However, the Burgundy and Gold surely aren't the only franchise gearing up for that scenario as the league's premier offseason event approaches. In fact, the organization that's lurking right behind Ron Rivera's club in this year's draft order could very well be thinking about pouncing on a passing prospect if the opportunity arises on April 29, too.

Like Washington, the Bears qualified for the playoffs in 2020 but lost on Wild Card Weekend.

Also like Washington, the Bears then acquired a veteran QB via free agency who could do an adequate job in 2021 but who's not their long-term guy (and most would agree that Andy Dalton is much less appealing than Ryan Fitzpatrick, which perhaps could mean Chicago is more desperate than Washington to add a promising young arm for this year).

And finally, like Washington, the Bears possess a reputable defense that would benefit from improved production on the other side of the line of scrimmage.

So, in short: Washington might need to outbid the Bears for someone like Trey Lance, Justin Fields or Mac Jones if one of them lingers on the board longer than expected.

 

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"We will have an idea of what the teams around us are looking for," general manager Martin Mayhew told the media in a recent presser. "All of that is very fluid. All of that happens on draft day, and we will definitely be prepared for that."

As outlined above, there's plenty of evidence suggesting that Chicago is a threat to jump the draft order. They have the capital to do so as well.

Aside from the extra third-rounder (pick No. 74) that Washington possesses, the Bears can essentially match whatever Rivera and Co. offer in a deal, seeing as they're positioned one spot after Washington in rounds 1, 2, and 3 (Chicago's 83rd selection is behind the NFC East champions' other asset in that portion of the proceedings).

They also have four sixth-round choices that could be deployed as sweeteners, to go along with all of their picks in future drafts.

The one key difference between the two operations, however, is that the Bears have a coach in Matt Nagy and a GM in Ryan Pace who are both on the brink of being pushed out, which isn't the case at all for Rivera and Mayhew.

Allowing a regime to go all-in on a quarterback when they might not be in charge 12 months from now is always risky for the team as a whole, and who knows if Nagy and Pace want to put their fate in the hands of a rookie anyways? 

Regardless, the point is that Washington won't only have to decide soon if they want to gamble on a QB; they may also have to decide soon if they want to gamble on a QB more than Chicago does.