The Chicago Bears are currently the center of the NFL world, and for good reason. Following the electric combine performances of some of this year’s top quarterback prospects, reports are that interest in the first overall pick is at a fever pitch.
Having apparently, and rightly, decided to roll with Justin Fields, the Bears are reportedly already shopping the first overall pick, and it sounds like they’ll get a huge return. With multiple quarterback-needy teams in the mix, which trade down partner should Chicago fans be hoping Ryan Poles can strike a deal with?
Indianapolis Colts: 1.04
Top options: Jalen Carter, Tyree Wilson, Myles Murphy
The Colts, who have been linked to the first overall pick for most of the offseason, still appear to be one of the frontrunners for a potential trade with Chicago. Having played quarterback roulette since Andrew Luck’s surprise retirement, they will, and should, be desperate to finally find their quarterback of the future.
A trade to 1.04 is an interesting landing spot for the Bears. It’s essentially all but a guarantee that the first two picks in the draft will be quarterbacks. The Cardinals sitting at the third overall pick should be thrilled to land an elite defender like Will Anderson. With the fourth overall pick, the Bears could potentially explore pulling off the famed double-trade down (which would likely lead to a Ryan Poles statue at Halas Hall), or look at several defensive line options, like Jalen Carter (which is scary), Tyree Wilson, or Myles Murphy.
Las Vegas Raiders: 1.07
Top options: Myles Murphy, Paris Johnson, Peter Skoronski
Las Vegas made the decision to move on from Derek Carr, who signed with the New Orleans Saints as a free agent, without having a backup plan in place. I will never not think that their plan was to reunite Tom Brady with Josh McDaniels, and then Brady elected to retire. Now scrambling to find their quarterback, they could be in the trade-up mix.
The Raiders currently hold the seventh overall pick, and while the aforementioned Murphy could still be on the board, the seventh pick opens up new opportunities. Chicago, who badly needs help in the trenches on both sides of the ball, could begin looking at the top offensive linemen in the class, like Paris Johnson and Peter Skoronski.
Ohio State OL Paris Johnson Jr. on the possibility of blocking for Justin Fields once again— The Sick Podcast with Adam Rank (@sickpodadamrank) March 4, 2023
“It would be an honor to be back with him again”#Bears #BearDown #DaBears #NFLCombine2023 #thesickpodcast pic.twitter.com/ltC13rVLQN
Carolina Panthers: 1.09
Top options: Paris Johnson, Broderick Jones, Jaxon Smith-Njigba
Since the Scouting Combine, no team has seemed more eager to make a move for one of the rookie quarterbacks than the Carolina Panthers. In a wide open NFC South that will feature all four teams rolling out a new starting quarterback in 2023, a franchise quarterback could be all it takes to loft the Panthers to the top of the division. Personally, I believe this trade partner holds plenty of value for the Bears.
The further the Bears trade down, the more their trade partner will have to give up. If trading with the Panthers gives Ryan Poles an extra mid-round pick to play with to address the various needs on the roster, I’m all for it.
The ninth overall pick is prime real estate for offensive line, but the need at wide receiver also becomes an option at this pick. Fields needs help if he’s going to grow as a passer like they want him to, and even if Poles manages a trade for a receiver, drafting a young pass catcher is worth consideration. If Chicago is in love with a receiving option, like Fields’ former Ohio State teammate Jaxon Smith-Njigba, it should be an option that’s on their radar at nine.
Regardless of who the trade partner is, the Bears are poised to command a haul of a trade package, and Chicago fans should be ecstatic at the potential return.