Would the Bears take Sanchez?

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
What would the Chicago Bears do if the draft's second-best quarterback is still on the board as their first pick in the April draft approaches?

That's a question raised in the latest mock draft compiled by Todd McShay of Scouts, Inc. This link is partially behind the Insider firewall, but you can view the first 16 picks for free. As you'll notice, McShay has Detroit taking Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford with the No. 1 overall pick, but USC quarterback Mark Sanchez is nowhere to be found in the first half of the draft.

Because of Insider rules and the Hammurabi Code, I can't tell you where McShay has Sanchez landing. You'll have to pay for that privilege. But it's intriguing to consider that the Bears, at No. 18, would be no worse than one pick away -- or a quick swap with the New York Jets at No. 17 -- from having a chance to pick him.

As you know from the previous post, Bears general manager Jerry Angelo has made the quarterback position his top priority. It's assumed he'll give Kyle Orton the 2009 season to earn a long-term commitment. But the Bears could buy themselves some insurance, albeit at a high price, by selecting Sanchez and starting the development process while simultaneously hoping Orton works out. Even in that scenario, the Bears would have an enviable situation with a competent starter and a promising backup.

You could argue the Bears have too many other needs to take a quarterback in the first round, especially one who was a college starter for only one full season. But if McShay's early prognostication proves correct, the Bears could at least have an interesting decision to make. Stay tuned.