Thanks to a dramatic comeback win by the Houston Texans, the Chicago Bears leapt ahead of them in the 2023 NFL draft order, landing the No. 1 overall pick for the first time since 1947.
It’s rare that the team holding the top pick in the draft doesn’t need a quarterback, but that’s the case for the Bears, who already have a budding superstar in Justin Fields.
While the Bears could be more than happy to stay at No. 1 and take Alabama pass rusher Will Anderson or Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter, and they could certainly use either of them, they could also hold a bidding war for other teams that desperately need a franchise quarterback of their own.
With the Houston Texans now at No. 2 overall, and being among those teams who could use a top quarterback prospect, the rest of the QB-needy teams know they’ll need to jump ahead of that spot in order to land the passer of their choice.
Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud are the current front-runners to be the first quarterbacks off the board, so if the Texans prefer one over the other, they could end up negotiating a deal with the Bears to move up one spot and make sure they get the one they want.
While the Bears could certainly use a dominant, dynamic defender like Anderson or Carter at No. 1, getting a king’s ransom to trade down a few spots would give them a chance to address the long list of needs they have on both sides of the ball. Any deal that moves them off that top spot would likely net them at least a couple more first-round picks, and likely more.
Chicago is projected to have the most salary cap space in the NFL this offseason, so they’ll be able to fill some of those needs in free agency, as well. If they do that, then load up on premium picks in the draft by getting a massive haul in return for this year’s No. 1 pick, it could allow them to quickly build a winning roster around Fields.