Widely expected to trade down from the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears managed to pick up both future draft compensation while also adding a Pro Bowl playmaker in D.J. Moore. This singular trade could end up building a strong enough foundation for Justin Fields and Co. to become a contender sooner than later.
Yet, in addition to picking up the ninth pick, the 61st selection, a 2024 first-round pick, plus a 2025 second-rounder, the Bears almost swung a trade with the Houston Texans, who hold the No. 2 pick instead.
According to NBC’s Peter King, Bears general manager Ryan Poles felt he had a chance to emerge with three first-round picks in the 2024 NFL Draft. The idea was to swap picks with the Texans, then still do a deal with the Carolina Panthers, swapping the second and ninth picks and who knows what else.
“I thought there was an opportunity to do something historically pretty cool with a trade from one to two and two to nine. That had potential to add more draft capital this year, and then the possibility that you’re sitting on three ones in the following year. That had my attention. But my gut told me to trigger on it now. At the combine, I thought those quarterbacks did an outstanding job in their interview process. A lot of teams felt really good about some of those guys, but as you get further away from the combine, maybe there’s a bad pro day or something that turns teams off.”Chicago Bears GM Ryan Poles on nearly trading down twice ahead of 2023 NFL Draft
While we see now that the Bears simply couldn’t resist the offer from the Panthers, it does make one wonder what type of haul they could have received from both Houston and Carolina.
Either way, the Bears are in a much stronger position heading into the draft than they had been if they stuck at No. 1 and made their selection.
Related: NFL mock draft 2023: Latest Round 1 projection for 2023 NFL Draft