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2023 Bears mock draft: Double trade-back edition

What would a draft haul possibly look like if the Bears traded down twice in Round 1?

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 03 Big 10 Championship - Michigan vs Purdue Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

There’s a scenario regarding the Bears and the 2023 NFL Draft you’ve likely heard about, but I’ve never written a mock draft with it on this site.

That scenario is the fabled double trade-down.

With the expectation the Bears will move down from the No. 1 pick, debate has kicked up regarding which team they’ll conduct a trade with. The Texans at No. 2 and the Colts at No. 4 are both popular pairings, and teams like the Raiders at No. 7, Falcons at No. 8 and Panthers at No. 9 are all quarterback-needy teams still in the top 10.

But who says they only need to trade down once?

There’s the speculated double trade with both Houston and Indianapolis, trading twice to secure as much trade capital as possible. That’s a scenario I’ll surely look at eventually, but I wanted to see what it would look like if Chicago traded down near the back end of the top 10.

Using the NFL Mock Draft Database simulator, I decided to run a 7-round mock draft with the expectation of trading back twice in the first round. Here’s what I came away with.


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

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

The likelihood of Indianapolis as a trade partner for the Bears has been explained to death, both by me and many others out there. The Colts move in front of a divisional rival and ensure they get their QB1 in this class, and the Bears get extra draft capital out of it. It’s a win-win for both sides.


Bears get: 2023 first-round pick (No. 9), 2023 second-round pick (No. 39), 2023 fourth-round pick (No. 114), 2024 fourth-round pick

Panthers get: 2023 first-round pick (No. 4)

Here’s where things get interesting. In this simulation, the first two picks were quarterbacks, while the third pick was Will Anderson to the Cardinals. Though Jalen Carter was still on the board and seems like a perfect fit for Chicago, it doesn’t work for the sake of this specific exercise. With two of the top four quarterbacks still on the board — in this simulation’s case, C.J. Stroud and Anthony Richardson — Carolina jumps two other teams who need quarterbacks to get a young stud.

Round 1 (via Panthers): Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State

I heavily considered Jaxon Smith-Njigba here, but Johnson was technically the highest-ranked player on my board at the time. Plus, I feel JSN falls a little bit more than where I’d let him in real life. Johnson has tremendous length, top-notch athleticism and very good pure power proportioned evenly throughout his frame. From a physical perspective, he fits the Bears’ prospect profile perfectly.

Round 2 (via Colts): Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

I was a bit surprised to see Flowers available in Round 2, but that’s the general range I have him graded at. He’s a dynamic athlete and a quality route runner with great lateral movement skills, which allows him to get open on a consistent basis. Though he doesn’t have great size, he has the tools to be a super reliable complementary weapon.

Round 2 (via Panthers): Keion White, EDGE, Georgia Tech

Though I see White rising into Round 1 after what I predict will be a strong Combine, he’s raw enough where I could see him fall if teams are scared off by his Day 1 impact. He’s raw but has absurd physical potential, possessing great speed off the ball for an edge rusher with incredible raw power and the frame of a built defensive tackle. He’s a physical specimen with a super high ceiling.

Round 2 (via Ravens): Mazi Smith, DL, Michigan

Speaking of specimens, why not double down with Bruce Feldman’s top athletic freak of the 2022 season? Smith needs to work on his plan as a pass-rusher but has good first-step quickness and uses his natural leverage to his advantage. He’s freaky powerful and flexible in his lower half, and he could be a dominant 1-technique defensive tackle to pair with a 3-tech signed in free agency.

Round 3: Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa

Campbell fits the physical profile that Matt Eberflus likes in his defenders. The Iowa standout has great size and ideal length at 6-foot-5 and 243 pounds, and he’s a high-motored prospect who plays at a high playing speed. For someone as big as he is, he showcases good straight-line quickness on tape, as well.

Round 4: Andrew Vorhees, OG, USC

In an instance that sees the Bears add a center in free agency, they could look to draft a guard to develop for a year and eventually replace Cody Whitehair. Vorhees is a rock-solid blocker with tackle-guard versatility. He’s a sound processor with a powerful frame and polished strike placement at the point of attack whose floor is rather high.

Round 4 (via Panthers): Karl Brooks, DL, Bowling Green

Arguably the biggest snub from the Combine this year, Brooks had 10 sacks and 18 tackles for a loss for Bowling Green in 2022. Suboptimal pad level affects how well he eats up gaps against the run, but he’s an explosive athlete with inside-outside versatility and impressive agility and coordination as a pass-rusher.

Round 4 (via Eagles): Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, CB, TCU

As undersized as Hodges-Tomlinson may be, he plays with the confidence of a cornerback much larger than he is. Size is the only major issue with him, as he’s an intelligent cover corner with loose hips, good speed, impressive ball skills and a scrappy demeanor. He played outside a lot at TCU but would fit best with the Bears as a slot cornerback, potentially kicking Kyler Gordon back outside.

Round 5: Israel Abanikanda, RB, Pittsburgh

Abanikanda broke out with 1,431 yards and 20 touchdowns on the ground this year, and his tape is some of the most fun in this draft class. He’s an impressive athlete with dangerous breakaway speed, and though he isn’t the most powerful runner out there, he plays with plenty of effort as a pass protector. He would project as a solid rotational back in Chicago’s backfield.backfield.

Round 5 (from Patriots): Andrei Iosivas, WR, Princeton

Some have soured on Iosivas because he didn’t dominate at the Senior Bowl, but I’m still enamored with the combination of length and deep speed he brings to the table. He’s raw as a route-running technician but has a large catch radius and the vertical athleticism needed to project as a big-play deep threat in spurts at the next level.

Round 7: Trevor Reid, OT, Louisville

I’m especially intrigued by Reid as a fit for the Bears, given his length and athleticism at the offensive tackle position. He’s a coordinated athlete with good acceleration to the second level and nice overall play strength, and his technique — though still raw — has improved over the last few years. A player with his physical prowess makes a lot of sense to take a shot on late on Day 3.