The NFL Combine starts next Tuesday the 28th. The Combine is the time for top picks to solidify their spot in Mel Kiper and his colleagues mock drafts. Also for the projected mid-to-late/undrafted guys, to show that they should be higher on draft boards.
Since the season has ended, and the draft order has been set. One thing has been largely talked about, more than anything else to do with the draft itself: What are the Chicago Bears gonna do with the #1 pick? The consensus #1 picks are mostly QBs (CJ Stroud, Bryce Young, maybe even Will Levis). But the Bears are set at the QB position with third-year QB Justin Fields. Fields seemingly came into his own this past season, showing he can use his legs like Lamar and still throw the ball. Even with a less-than-stellar WR corps.
DT Jalen Carter out of Georgia, who is said by some to be a total “game changer”, has been thrown out as a possible no. 1 pick. Mainly if the Bears don’t trade down. But it would make more sense for them to drop down, even just a couple spots. Below, I will lay out 3 trading down scenarios that make sense for the Bears and their future.
Before I lay out the trade scenarios, first let’s go over the biggest need for the “Monsters of the Midway”. That would easily be defense. Not just one position either, any spot on their defensive depth chart could use some help.
Across the board on that side of the ball, the Bears were ranked bottom 5-10 in all major categories. If not, dead last. 29th in Total Yards allowed, 31st in RedZone TDs allowed, and 32nd in 3rd Down Conversion % allowed. Just to name a few. But it isn’t all bad, I guess. They were top 10 in 4th Down Conversion %, as well as Pass Yds and Pass TDs allowed.
The Bears shouldn’t trade the #1 pick to just any team. There are a few teams that covet/need a player, that is projected in the #1 spot, more than other teams. I also think, that the Bears don’t want to drop too much lower. As they could still use a top 15 player in this draft.
They would be dumb to drop out of the top 10 unless the haul they are getting is well worth it. For that main reason, is why all 3 of my trade scenarios keep them in the top 10.
Indianapolis is the most QB needy team in the top 10. Matt Ryan is said to possibly be retiring and going into the broadcast booth next year. And Sam Ehlinger isn’t the savior in the “Circle City”, as some call Indy. The Colts front office should be all in trying to get their new franchise QB. Owner Jim Irsay is usually an “all or nothing” type of guy, so it makes sense.
Bears get: #4 overall pick, 2023 3rd Round pick, 2025 5th round pick, and CB Kenny Moore II
Colts get: #1 overall pick, 2023 5th round pick, 2025 4th round pick.
As I stated before, the Bears need all the help they can get on defense. Which is why they won’t just be after the Colts #4 pick. But also after one of their top DB’s in Moore II. Last season, in 12 games, Moore had 65 tackles (50 solo), 4 TFL, and 4 Pass Deflections. He’s also only 27, and under contract just through this coming season. But with almost $100 million in cap space, the Bears should have no problem giving him what he will deserve.
The Bears are giving up the two extra picks to cover the loss of Moore for the Colts. They will still have another 5th rounder this year and hopefully won’t miss the 4th rounder once they get to 2025.
If the Panthers aren’t willing to try out another year of Sam Darnold (who is a Free Agent), then they should trade up. Especially if they want CJ Stroud or Bryce Young. As I see both those QBs going top 5 and the Panthers currently have pick #9. Frank Reich is a great coach to have with a young QB to help mold/develop them.
Bears get: #9 overall pick, 2023 3rd round pick, 2023 5th round pick, 2024 3rd round pick.
Panthers get: #1 overall pick, WR Velus Jones Jr., 2027 5th round pick.
The Bears stay in the top 10 and add two picks to their day 2 and 3 stockpile. As well as add some pick depth for next year. They have a solid amount of their WR corps headed to Free Agency(Pringle, Pettis, Harry), so losing Velus Jones as well wouldn’t exactly help them. But they have enough cap space to go out and fill the holes left by those guys. If not upgrade totally.
The Panthers get their “pick of the litter” at #1, add WR depth with Jones Jr. and get a future pick for good measure.
Division foes become friendly in my last trade scenario. The Lions don’t “need” a QB, as Goff looked more-than-solid last season. Solid enough to where their own pick wasn’t even top 15 (#18). So, I think they’ll be fine waiting out the QB situation. But they still have a hole they could fill by acquiring a higher pick.
While their own pick isn’t top 10 or 15, the one they have from the Rams trade, that dealt Stafford to LA and Goff to DET, happens to fall at #6.
Bears get: #6 overall pick, 2024 4th round pick, and DL Michael Brockers.
Lions get: #1 overall pick, 2025 4th round pick.
The Bears add a veteran D-Lineman in Brockers, who only played 6 games last season. But does what you need him to do, when healthy. Along with getting themselves in a spot where they could field even more offers, if they feel they’ll be reaching too far for what they want.
The Lions get in a spot to take DL Jalen Carter, which will help their 29th ranked in Rush Yards Allowed Defense (32nd in Total Yards Allowed as well). And they don’t give up too much. As I said, they can wait on a QB. They still have the 18th pick if they really want to take a chance on someone, like Anthony Richardson or Hendon Hooker.
That completes my 3 trade scenarios that make sense for the Bears to move down the board. Hope you enjoy, and i’ll be intrigued to see what the Bears decide to do.