6. Drafting Mitch Trubisky second overall in 2017.
We’ll never know if Pace could have gotten Trubisky at No. 3 without trading three other picks to move up — and Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson sure look like good fallback options. But as a player and a leader, Trubisky looks like a quarterback who can win the Super Bowl.
7. Drafting safety Eddie Jackson and running back Tarik Cohen in 2017.
It’s one thing to get complementary players in the middle rounds of the draft, but these two are legitimate playmakers. Cohen’s versatility makes him a threat to score from anywhere on the field. Jackson, with four touchdowns this season and six in 17 games in the NFL, might be Pace’s best pound-for-pound draft pick.
8. Hiring Matt Nagy.
Fox was the right hire at the time because the Bears needed stability after the dysfunction of the Emery/Trestman era and more help on defense than on offense, with Cutler at quarterback.
But with an improved defense under Fangio and a developing quarterback in Trubisky, the dynamic changed, and the Bears needed an offensive coach who would develop Trubisky. Identifying and hiring Nagy looks like a masterstroke. He not only is developing Trubisky and the offense but seems to have the right touch as a modernera NFL head coach.
9. Keeping Fangio.
Mitch Trubisky Ryan Pace, Khalil Mack, Matt Nagy Vic Fangio