9 teams that could be calling Bears about No. 1 pick in NFL draft

The Chicago Bears have the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft, which means they essentially control the draft.

Typically, teams sitting at No. 1 are in search of a quarterback and choose to remain put. But the Bears aren’t in the market for a quarterback after finding their guy in Justin Fields. Which means they stand to gain substantial compensation from a quarterback-needy team(s) looking to trade up and get a top prospect like Alabama’s Bryce Young or Ohio State’s CJ Stroud.

GM Ryan Poles could even trade back multiple times and still land a top prospect on top of a treasure trove of draft picks.

Here’s a look at some teams who could be looking to trade up with the Bears for that No. 1 pick:

Indianapolis Colts

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The Colts feel like the most obvious team to trade up with the Bears for the top pick. Indianapolis has been in quarterback purgatory since Andrew Luck retired, which includes stints with Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan and Sam Ehlinger. The Colts are sitting at No. 4 overall, and they still could land a top quarterback prospect without choosing to move. But to ensure no one jumps ahead of them for a quarterback, trading up to the first pick would make sense. Better yet, they’d get their choice between Bryce Young or CJ Stroud.

Houston Texans

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Remember when the Bears traded up one spot from No. 3 to No. 2 to select quarterback Mitchell Trubisky in 2017? Chicago could finally be on the winning side of that trade after the Texans screwed up and let the No. 1 pick get away from them. If Houston has their hearts set on a particular quarterback prospect, be it Bryce Young or CJ Stroud, they might have to trade draft capital to move up one spot and prevent another team from leap frogging them. Then again, if they’re comfortable with either, they could remain put and take whoever is still on the board.

Las Vegas Raiders

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With Derek Carr’s future in doubt, the Raiders will likely be looking for a franchise quarterback in the NFL draft. They’re currently sitting at No. 7 overall, and there are a couple of quarterback-needy teams ahead of them in the draft order. Bryce Young and CJ Stroud are the current undisputed top two quarterback prospects, which means Las Vegas would need to trade up to jump ahead of the Texans and Colts, who will no doubt be taking a quarterback. But the Raiders could also stay put at No. 7 and draft Will Levis, assuming the Seahawks and Lions aren’t in the market for a quarterback.

Carolina Panthers

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The Panthers are currently sitting with the ninth overall pick in the NFL draft, and despite Sam Darnold’s late-season performance, it’s hard to argue they’re not in the market for a quarterback. You could argue everyone but Chicago and Arizona could consider drafting a quarterback in the top eight selections, which means Carolina would need to relinquish draft capital to move up and grab one. Luckily, the Bears hold the top selection, and the Panthers could have their pick of quarterback — if the price is right.

Tennessee Titans

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The Titans fell one game short of the postseason, and the difference in that loss to the Jaguars was quarterback. Ryan Tannehill’s future is in doubt, and Malik Willis was benched in his rookie season in favor of Joshua Dobbs, who started their final game against Jacksonville. Tennessee should be looking to acquire a quarterback this offseason, and there are some appealing options in the draft. But the Titans are sitting right outside the top 10, so they’d need to trade up to land one of the top three prospects in Bryce Young, CJ Stroud and Will Levis. The Bears aren’t drafting a quarterback, so Tennessee could have their choice of quarterback if they traded up to that No. 1 pick.

Atlanta Falcons

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The Falcons drafted Desmond Ridder in the third round of last year’s draft, but they could still look to draft a quarterback with their top-eight draft pick. But they are sitting behind a number of other quarterback-needy teams, which means they’d need to leap frog them if they fall in love with one of the top prospects in the draft. Then again, it comes back to how the organization views Ridder and their evaluation of guys like Bryce Young and CJ Stroud in this draft.

New York Jets

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The Jets are the Bears from five years ago, if not worse, after picking quarterback Zach Wilson in the 2021 draft. Wilson was benched (twice), and despite what the team says about not giving up on him, it’s clear Wilson isn’t the new answer in New York. Which is disappointing considering the Jets’ dominant defense and impressive supporting cast. New York should no doubt be in the quarterback market, but they’re not likely to find one in the draft sitting at 13th overall. They could certainly choose to trade up with the Bears and get their choice of quarterback. But it would cost a lot, considering New York is outside the top 10 and would be moving up to first overall.

Detroit Lions

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The Lions might not be in the immediate market for a young quarterback given the performance of Jared Goff this season. But on the off chance they are — and have fallen in love with Bryce Young or CJ Stroud — there’s no better time than now. Detroit has two first-round picks in the 2023 NFL draft — their own and the Rams’ No. 6 pick (from the Matthew Stafford trade).

Washington Commanders

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There’s no guarantee that the Commanders will be looking to draft a quarterback this offseason. They could choose to roll with rookie Sam Howell or add a veteran in free agency or via trade. But it’s also hard to rule them out when it comes to drafting a quarterback. Although, sitting at 16th overall, they’d need to trade up in order to land one. If they traded with the Bears, it would cost quite a bit as they’re outside the top-15. But it’s certainly one possibility.

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Story originally appeared on Bears Wire