OPINION: Is There a Case for the Bears to Select Jake Fromm?
Could Jake Fromm make sense for the Chicago Bears?
With the NFL Draft quickly approaching, NFL fans everywhere are finally excited at the possibility of something sports-related that isn’t a re-run. This has been one of the best weeks for sports since the beginning of the quarantine and COVID-19 pandemic. The draft is approaching and the “Last Dance” documentary has begun on ESPN.
Throughout the offseason, the Bears have been linked to Jalen Hurts and the possibility of selecting him with one of their two second-round picks. This speculation still arises after the Bears traded for quarterback Nick Foles earlier this offseason.
So why does that matter? Well, if the Bears are in the market for a quarterback in this year’s draft, there is a chance they take someone other than Hurts. Why? Well, as reported by both Daniel Jeremiah and Ian Rapoport, teams are targeting “their guys” rather than listening to other organizations around the league. This means we’ll likely see a lot of “whoa” picks in the draft when comparing to many mock drafts.
This possibility poses an interesting question, would the Bears consider drafting Jake Fromm?
In theory, anything is possible. The Bears met with Jake Fromm at the NFL Combine, suggesting they have some interest in the Georgia standout.
However, I spoke with someone who has seen Fromm play up close. UGASports.com analyst and University of Georgia Athletics P.A. voice Dayne Young answered some of my questions about Jake Fromm.
Let’s start off with the personal side. I am a big fan of Fromm’s game. Sure, he’s not the elite arm talent or the quarterback that set records in college. However, he commanded and led a very good Georgia offense to a lot of victories in his tenure as a Bulldog. Aside from that, this is the guy that beat out Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields for the starting job at Georgia. Clearly he’s a good player.
Why are people not higher on Fromm? Dayne Young has a theory:
“Fromm does not have as many throwing opportunities most Saturdays as some of the more ballyhooed quarterbacks.“– Dayne Young
Dayne brings up a good point. In three years and over 43 games at Georgia as the starting quarterback, Fromm threw for only 8,224 yards. The total is still a nice number, but for comparison, fellow draft prospect Justin Herbert in 44 games threw for 10,541 yards. That is a big difference for only one more game played by Herbert.
Fromm still had an impressive 78-to-18 touchdown-to-interception ratio at Georgia. In Fromm’s third season, he saw a dip in his touchdown numbers although he threw for more yards. However, his completion percentage dipped six percent. Dayne weights in for us again:
Much of this can be attributed to reduced production from inexperienced WR’s. Fromm lost his five primary pass catchers from 2018. General managers must assess how much of the production drop should be attributed to Fromm. Any NFL team that selects Fromm must surround him with playmaking pass-catchers.– Dayne Young referring to concern over Fromm’s stats.
Losing your five top playmakers year over year is a big deal. After Riley Ridley, Mecole Hardman, Sony Michel, Nick Chubb, and Terry Godwin all left for the NFL, Fromm had to make do with an inexperienced group of receivers. There was still talent at UGA, but Fromm was working with a completely different supporting cast compared to his previous two seasons.
With all of that said, what makes Fromm worth considering for the Bears? I’ll turn to Dayne once again for some assistance:
Jake Fromm definitely has the skillset both mentally and physically to succeed in the NFL. He is an efficient quarterback who rarely causes critical errors. Most NFL coaches and general managers prefer to be conservative with selecting quarterbacks who can command a room and be immediately respected by peers. Fromm checks all of those boxes.– Dayne Young referring to Fromm’s skills translating to the NFL.
He rarely turns over the ball. Much of that is due to his quick recognition of defenses pre-snap at the line of scrimmage. Fromm is always prepared. He has also mastered the back shoulder throw along the sideline. It is a very low-risk, high-reward pass.– Dayne Young describing Fromm’s best skills.
Fromm is a successful game manager. He’s going to keep your team in games. That’s what the Bears need. The Bears also need a quarterback that can win games. Fromm not only has more experience than Mitchell Trubisky had coming out of college, but he has also run a pro-style offense and won a lot of big games.
Fromm could be an excellent addition as a developmental piece for the Bears in the event they cut ties with Trubisky after 2020.
Now, the story can’t be all good, right? Here’s some quotes from Dayne on Fromm’s flaws:
I don’t see him in the same class as Joe Burrow, Justin Fields, Tua Tagovailoa, or Justin Herbert in terms of overall playmaking. I don’t assess him as a first-round NFL Draft talent, but that depends on the supply and demand. NFL teams reach for quarterbacks all the time. Fromm will not be a bust, but he will not be a transformative figure like Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, or Drew Brees either.Dayne Young on Fromm’s comparison to other elite talents in college.
While I don’t ever see Fromm as being one of the best 5-10 quarterbacks in the league, he could definitely be a starter in the league for a while.Dayne Young on Fromm’s translation to the NFL.
In other words, Fromm isn’t projected to light the league on fire. However, on a team with good playmakers, a dominant defense, and solid special teams, all you need is a guy that can keep you in games and win games.
My verdict on Fromm to the Bears is this: it likely isn’t going to happen. There is a very good chance another team grabs him before the Bears can or will.
That said, thanks to some great analysis from Dayne Young, Fromm is a quarterback who is well respected, always prepared, has a good mental makeup and, most importantly, he’s a winner.
Another point that doesn’t hurt to mention is his familiarity with Riley Ridley and Javon Wims. Dayne actually mentioned Fromm’s success with Wims while at Georgia.
He has a track record of connecting well with tall and physical receivers who can create space along the sideline (Javon Wims, Jeremiah Holloman, Lawrence Cager). Big and rangy receivers fit better with him as compared to small speedsters.– Dayne Young when referring to Fromm’s stats and his need to be with playmakers.
After the release of Taylor Gabriel earlier this offseason, the Bears are comprised of bigger receivers. Of the Bears’ top receivers, four of them are 6-foot-1 or taller (Allen Robinson, Riley Ridley, Javon Wims, and Cordarrelle Patterson). The only top receiver the Bears have that’s under that mark is Anthony Miller (5’11”).
Bears fans are all too familiar with the debate before the 2017 NFL Draft. The wide debate at the time was between Deshaun Watson and Mitchell Trubisky for who was the better quarterback. The “experts” said Trubisky had the better “tools” but Watson was the proven winner. So far, between those two, Watson has by far been the better pro. Sure, Mahomes is the best of the top three quarterbacks selected that year, but he came out of nowhere to a lot of people.
Here’s the thing, Fromm has won in the elite SEC Conference and played tons of games. He can handle the pressure that comes with being an NFL quarterback and could be a great piece for the Bears’ future if the Trubisky experiment officially flames out.
My experience as a college football player has taught me that, no matter what a guy’s tools are, winning translates to talented players. If they show up on tape, they usually pan out well in the NFL, even if the measurables aren’t amazing.
I fully believe Fromm could be a good fit for the Bears. I think he is going to be a good NFL quarterback, just as Dayne echoed in his quotes, but I don’t believe he ends up in Chicago because Pace is not going to draft a second quarterback in his tenure inevitably waiving the white flag on the Mitchell Trubisky experiment.
Stats and measurements courtesy of the University of Georgia, University of Oregon and the Chicago Bears.