Bears put themselves in prime position for No. 1 pick by beating Panthers

Usually, when a bad team wins a game, it hurts them in the draft order standings. But the Bears' win over the Panthers on Thursday night could prove to be a good thing for Chicago's future.

The Bears have the Panthers' 2024 first-round draft pick, thanks to the trade that allowed the Panthers to move up and draft Bryce Young No. 1 this year, and beating the Panthers increased the odds that the Panthers' 2024 first-round pick will be No. 1 overall.

The Panthers and Cardinals are currently tied for the worst record in the NFL at 1-8, but the Panthers will likely win the strength of schedule tiebreaker and have the higher first-round pick if they end up tied with the Cardinals in the standings. That would be good news for the Bears.

The Bears themselves are 3-7 and their pick would be No. 5 overall in the 2024 NFL draft, based on current standings.

USC quarterback Caleb Williams is widely regarded as the first overall pick in 2024, and the Bears would likely take him and move on from Justin Fields, a year after sticking with Fields and trading down with the Panthers.