The Chicago Bears hold pretty much all of the cards with roughly two months to go before the 2023 NFL Draft.
Selecting No. 1 overall, Chicago is not necessarily in the market for a quarterback following the performance of Justin Fields as a sophomore a season ago. While some indications were that the Bears might look to trade Fields and replace him with one of the top quarterbacks in the draft, that doesn’t seem to be in the cards right now.
The backdrop here includes several rumors pointing to Chicago trading out of the top selection as the NFL Scouting Combine gets going in Indianapolis this week.
We now have a concrete report on this from ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The insider reports that Chicago has been approached by multiple teams about moving up to the first selection. The Bears are said to be “leaning toward” moving the pick. “The No. 1 pick now looks like it’s for sale,” Schefter reported.
Despite not needing a quarterback, Chicago does have some negotiating power. It could simply keep the first pick and go with someone like Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter if teams failed to meet its asking price. General manager Ryan Poles can also play quarterback-needy teams against one another in an attempt to create a bidding war.
Related: Chicago Bears free agent targets
Chicago Bears auctioning off first pick in 2023 NFL Draft
The obvious target for teams looking to add a quarterback is former Alabama star Bryce Young. He’s seen as a tier ahead of the likes of C.J. Stroud (Ohio State), Anthony Richardson (Florida) and Will Levis (Kentucky). This could enable Chicago to receive a huge bounty for the No. 1 selection.
It’s going to be all about how far down the board Poles and Co. are willing to move. The Indianapolis Colts (fourth overall), Seattle Seahawks (fifth), Las Vegas Raiders (seventh), Atlanta Falcons (eighth) and Carolina Panthers (ninth) are all teams picking within the top 10 who need to find a franchise quarterback.
The last time we saw the No. 1 pick change hands was back in 2016 when the Los Angeles Rams moved up with the Tennessee Titans for the pick that ended up being Jared Goff. It was an absolute blockbuster in every sense of the team.
|Rams acquired||Titans acquired|
|1st pick||15th pick|
|2016 4th-round selection||2 2016 2nd-round selections|
|2016 6th-round selection||2016 3rd-round selection|
|2017 1st-round selection|
|2017 3rd-round selection|
Every single year is different when it comes to trade value charts. It’s also highly unlikely that the Chicago Bears will move that far back in a trade unless a team provides an offer that they can’t refuse.
What we do know is that Chicago has a ton of needs on both sides of the ball. It needs to get Justin Fields more weapons on offense. There were also major issues from a pass-rush standpoint on defense after the trades of Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn last year. Acquiring more selections for the first pick would be a way to expedite Chicago’s rebuild. It’s now become clear that this is what Poles and Co. are looking to do.
Related: 2023 Chicago Bears mock draft
As for a timeline, a hypothetical deal would likely take place long before the 2023 NFL Draft is slated to start in Kansas City late in April.
The aforementioned Goff blockbuster took place several weeks ahead of the draft in 2016. Back in 2021, the San Francisco 49ers traded up to the third pick months before the draft. Look for something similar to come to fruition this time around.