"Being aggressive at that position, in essence, we took two swings," Pace said in January 2018, a reference to also drafting Mitchell Trubisky at No. 2 overall in 2017.
The Bears should address their quarterback position shortly after the new league year opens March 18, at which point free-agent signings and trades can become official. Pace's belief in Trubisky -- or lack thereof -- will be revealed then.
But how many swings will the Bears take this offseason? Could they also draft a quarterback?
That possibility looms as early as the second round, where Georgia's Jake Fromm and Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts project to be available. Chicago owns a pair of second-round picks at No. 43 and No. 50 overall.
Fromm threw for 8,224 yards, 78 touchdowns and 18 interceptions over three full seasons at Georgia. While there are questions about his arm talent, he hopes to answer those ahead of the draft. What's undeniable for Fromm is his competitive drive.
"The ability to influence others in the offense and the organization," Fromm said. "Really making everybody better, day in and day in, I think it’s a really important characteristic of quarterbacking."
Hurts proved himself as an NFL quarterback as a senior at Oklahoma. He transferred there from Alabama after losing the starting job to projected top-10 pick Tua Tagovailoa, and Hurts showcased his abilities in the same Sooners offense that produced the last two No. 1 picks, Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray.
Hurts threw for 9,477 yards, 80 touchdowns and 20 interceptions over his four collegiate seasons. While Fromm is most effective in the pocket, Hurts has the rushing ability that could well suit Bears coach Matt Nagy's offense. Hurts rushed 233 times for 1,298 yards and 20 touchdowns at Oklahoma in 2019.
By now, the Bears have privately decided that Trubisky is down to his last chance to prove himself as a starter -- even as Pace continues to publicly back his bet from the 2017 draft. What the Bears bring in at quarterback later in March -- either through free agency or trade -- will determine what opportunity Chicago is willing to offer Trubisky in 2020.
After that, the focus will turn to the draft. If Pace plans to swing again at the quarterback position, there are two intriguing possibilities early on.