Texans reporter John McClain helps break down NFL draft for Bears

Texans reporter breaks down the draft for Bears originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Bears find themselves in an auspicious place before the NFL draft.

With the golden ticket of the No. 1 pick at their disposal, they find themselves in the middle of a potential bidding war to relinquish the pick to another suitor.

According to Houston Texans reporter John McClain, he thinks the AFC South will battle for it.

"The Bears are gonna get the Texans and the Colts, two AFC South rivals, bidding to move up to the first pick to get the quarterback they want," McClain said on NBC Sports Chicago's Football Night in Chicago.

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Having lost to the Minnesota Vikings at home in Week 18 and simultaneously watching the Houston Texans improbably defeat the Indianapolis Colts just a bit after their loss, the Bears gained the crown for the worst record in the NFL and earned the first overall pick.

Of course, they don't necessarily need it. The Bears have their quarterback in Justin Fields and the league's most cap space by a landslide (~$118 million).

But, other teams need it. The Texans are likely to move on from 2021 pick Davis Mills. As for the Indianapolis Colts, their third attempt at a plug-and-play quarterback failed. This time, it was Matt Ryan at the helm.

Now, it's likely both teams will desire a higher draft position to take the likes of either Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud or Will Levis, leaving a lucrative coin for the Bears if they hand over the selection.

"I think it's the best thing that could happen to the Bears," McClain said. "The Bears need Jalen Carter or Will Anderson Jr., the two best prospects. They're higher rated than the quarterbacks. They don't want to go lower than the Colts at No. 4 because you assume two quarterbacks are gonna be gone. That would leave one for them."

Carter and Anderson are two of the best athletes in the draft and bona fide game-changers. Any team who drafts them will immediately bolster their defensive line.

Last season, the Bears owned one of the worst defensive line units in the league. They recorded the least amount of sacks in the NFL. By jettisoning Robert Quinn from the team before the deadline, they left themselves empty-handed.

However, not to fear. According to McClain, Texans general manager Nick Caserio would be delighted to make an offer to Poles & Co.

"Caserio's got 11 picks and two No. 1's (first-round picks)," McClain said. "He's got two in 2024 and he's got 10 picks so he can afford to make that move. They're not gonna get as much from the Texans to move one spot as it would from the Colts to swap four."

Indeed, as McClain explains, the Bears will almost certainly see a lesser offer from the Texans to move one spot. Yes, that would leave the door open for the Colts to move up. However, between Young and Stroud, the difference seems marginal at this point and either way a team will be looking to move into their position.

From the Texans' perspective, Caserio may attempt a cheaper strategy at the No. 2 spot to get his quarterback.

"When you play the Colts twice a year and the Colts play the Texans twice a year, it's assuming they want the same quarterback," McClain said. "One may like Bryce Young. One may like C.J. Stroud of Will Levis. The fact is, Nick Caserio's got to convince people by leaking that he wants the quarterback he doesn't want.

"In a perfect world, both teams will get the quarterback they want and the Bears will get the defensive lineman they covet."

We'll see how perfect that world turns out in April.

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