The Chicago Bears have traded the No. 1 pick overall in the 2023 NFL Draft to the Panthers, Ian Rapoport from NFL Network reported on Friday.
In return for the pick, Chicago will be receiving star wide receiver DJ Moore, the No. 9 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the No. 61 pick in the 2023 draft, a 2024 first-round pick, and a 2025 second-round pick.
It was expected the Bears would trade out of the No. 1 pick, seeing as how they are committed to Justin Fields as their quarterback. The aggressive market for quarterbacks in this year’s draft heated up and made it a foregone conclusion a team would trade up to the top pick, and given Carolina’s need for a long-term quarterback option, it appears likely they will pursue whichever signal-caller they have the highest grade on.
Discussions during the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine indicated that trade discussions were picking up, and it seems as though the Bears were able to close in not too long after and make a trade. It remains to be seen if they trade out of their current first-round selection again, but the trade back gives them an increased selection of draft capital — both this year and for the future — to help aid their rebuild.
Moore, who turns 26 years old in April, gives the Bears a legitimate top wide receiver for Fields to throw to. He had 63 catches for 888 yards and 7 touchdowns in 2022, and he had three straight 1,000-yard seasons from 2019 to 2021. He, Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool form a strong group of wide receivers for Chicago.