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2023 Bears draft: 6 potential trades for No. 1 pick

If the Bears trade out of the No. 1 pick, which teams could they trade with?

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Houston Texans v Chicago Bears Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

All trade packages were calculated using a combination of PFF’s mock draft simulator and the Calculator Soup NFL Draft pick calculator. I’d hardly consider myself to be the best indicator of pick trade value, so I relied heavily on those two tools to put these together. I weighed the trades slightly in Chicago’s favor, seeing as though there will likely be strong competition for the pick inflating returns a bit.

Houston Texans

All praise be to Lovie Smith, the hero of Bears fans everywhere.

The Texans are guaranteed to have at least two of Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud or Will Levis available for them with the No. 2 pick. That said, if they don’t want to leave anything to chance and want to ensure they get the top quarterback on their board, a trade up one spot might be something they’ll have to consider.

Say that the Texans want Young to be their new quarterback. Do they really want to risk that the divisional rival Colts, who could offer as intriguing of a package as any team for the No. 1 pick, move up ahead of them and steal their guy? It depends on what their board looks like. However, it’s not out of the question, and if the Bears are to negotiate with Houston’s front office, the conversations start by including the first-round pick the Texans got from the Deshaun Watson trade. If that doesn’t work, you still have a massive variety of picks to choose from.

Texans get: 2023 first-round pick (No. 1)

Bears get: 2023 first-round pick (No. 2), 2023 second-round pick (No. 34), 2023 fourth-round pick (No. 104)

Indianapolis Colts

Hold your horses here; you’re telling me I’m virtually guaranteed to get one of Will Anderson and Jalen Carter, AND I get to stock up on big-time draft capital in the process? Where do I sign?

I firmly believe that, if the Colts want to move up and secure their quarterback of the future, they have the chance to put together the most enticing package for the Bears in the NFL. Since the retirement of Andrew Luck, they’ve thrown darts at the likes of Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan, with none of whom sticking around as long-term starting options. Though general manager Chris Ballard has a strong reputation around the league, the lack of a stable quarterback options has prevented the Colts from truly taking the next step under his leadership.

It was Ballard who was in charge when the team hired Matt Eberflus to be their defensive coordinator in 2018. The two have a great relationship together, and Ballard worked with Ryan Poles in the Chiefs’ front office from 2013 to 2016. The ties between the organizations are obvious, and the need for a trade is there for both teams. If the Bears make any trade down in Round 1 of the 2023 draft, my non-sourced opinion is that Indianapolis will be the team they do it with.

Colts get: 2023 first-round pick (No. 1)

Bears get: 2023 first-round pick (No. 4), 2023 second-round pick (No. 35), 2023 fourth-round pick (No. 106), 2024 first-round pick, 2024 second-round pick

Seattle Seahawks

Geno Smith’s resurgence was one of the biggest storylines of the 2022 season. He played much better than anybody expected him to, and his play played a sizable role in the Seahawks becoming a Wild Card team despite wildly being considered to be one of the worst teams in the NFL heading into the year.

That said, the list of quarterbacks who have bloomed late to this extent isn’t exactly a long one. Kurt Warner and Rich Gannon are the only two successful quarterbacks over the last century who come to mind as players to put together several mediocre, uneventful or plain bad seasons before eventually becoming a star quarterback. You could maybe make an argument for Alex Smith, but that’s still a thin list.

Geno is 32 years old and, as good as his season was this year, he was a perennial backup for his previous 7 seasons. As a football fan, I’d love to see him maintain his level of success, as his comeback story is truly remarkable. However, the Seahawks would be wise to at least think about drafting a quarterback early in 2023, and if they fall in love with a prospect enough, they have the draft capital to do it. The following hypothetical trade gives the Seattle a guaranteed shot at their QB1 in this class, and they still would have two second-round picks to work with in this draft.

Seahawks get: 2023 first-round pick (No. 1)

Bears get: 2023 first-round pick via Broncos (No. 5), 2023 first-round pick (No. 20), 2023 third-round pick (No. 85), 2024 second-round pick, 2024 fourth-round pick

Las Vegas Raiders

The Derek Carr era in Raiders history seems like it has reached its end after 9 seasons in the black and silver. As they figure to move on from their long-time starter, it now becomes a matter of which quarterback they’d like to replace him with.

Currently sitting at the No. 7 pick, Las Vegas would run the risk of three quarterbacks coming off the board before their current selection. Young seems like a lock to go at least in the first two picks, and Stroud and Levis certainly have enough buzz to warrant QB-needy teams selecting them earlier. The Raiders could take a shot on a raw prospect like Anthony Richardson, but their current slot seems too early for that (I also think Levis in the top 10 is a bit of a reach, but that’s a story for another article).

Even if the Raiders end up acquiring a veteran like Jimmy Garoppolo or Tom Brady, the odds are they’ll need to invest in a young talent at quarterback, too. Davante Adams’ contract doesn’t make trading him realistic for Las Vegas this offseason, but the Bears would certainly be happy with a boatload of draft picks, too.

Raiders get: 2023 first-round pick (No. 1)

Bears get: 2023 first-round pick (No. 7), 2023 second-round pick (No. 39), 2023 fourth-round pick (No. 109), 2024 first-round pick, 2024 second-round pick, 2025 second-round pick

Tennessee Titans

Let me say for the record that I think Malik Willis has the tools to develop into something much greater than what he is right now. That said, he had a rough rookie campaign in the playing time he got, so much so the Titans trusted Joshua Dobbs over him in their biggest game of the year.

Ryan Tannehill had the Titans playing decent football before he got hurt, but he’s coming off of ankle surgery, turns 35 years old in July and would free up $17.8 million if the Titans cut him this offseason — $27 million if they cut him post-June 1. He should be able to start in 2023, but what is Tennessee’s plan after that? They fired general manager Jon Robinson in December, meaning that the new regime might not be fixated on Willis.

No, by the way, the same thought process for a third-round pick should not be applied to a first-round pick from the previous year whom the team traded significant draft picks to move up for and recently traded a second-round pick to surround him with a new wide receiver.

If the new Titans regime wants to build towards the future and hop in front of their AFC South rivals in the Texans and Colts, moving up to the No. 1 overall pick might not be entirely out of the question. The Bears would be wise to start hypothetical negotiations with Tennessee by asking for 2-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons. He’s one of the best interior defensive linemen in the NFL, he’ll only be 26 years old next year, and Chicago will have more than enough money to sign him to a contract extension that would kick in starting in 2024.

Titans get: 2023 first-round pick (No. 1)

Bears get: 2023 first-round pick (No. 11), 2023 second-round pick (No. 42), 2024 first-round pick, 2024 third-round pick, 2025 third-round pick, DT Jeffery Simmons

New York Jets

I would personally be surprised to see Zach Wilson suit up as the Jets’ starting quarterback for the 2023 season.

Their front office can make certain comments to the media, but his presence has brought dysfunction and controversy, and New York benched him multiple times over the course of the 2022 season. I think it’s a shame what happened to Wilson, whose arm talent and improvisational ability were stellar out of BYU, but whose pocket presence and lack of significant mental acuity have failed him in the NFL.

The Jets aren’t in a spot to rebuild and tear everything down now. They have a fantastic defense with several intriguing, young talents, and their offense has plenty of up-and-coming contributors when the group is healthy. If they truly believe that they’re just a quarterback away, it wouldn’t be shocking to see them make a move up for a quarterback. Depending on how aggressive they want to be, they could trade with the Bears to acquire the top pick in the 2023 draft.

In doing so, Chicago would be wise to ask for Quinnen Williams, a Pro Bowler this year who played at an insanely high level and will be quite expensive for New York in the 2024 offseason.

Jets get: 2023 first-round pick (No. 1)

Bears get: 2023 first-round pick (No. 13), 2023 second-round pick (No. 44), 2024 first-round pick, 2024 second-round pick, 2025 third-round pick, DT Quinnen Williams