And Just Like That the Bears Are in Play for the No. 2 Overall Pick

The Matt Eberflus era of the Chicago Bears started off at 2-1 … though that feels like a distant memory, at this point. Since then, the Bears have lost seven of eight games. And while the development of quarterback Justin Fields has made for a more entertaining brand of football, the results are what they are.

After 11 games, the Chicago Bears (3-8) are in a full-on tank.

On the brightside, the Bears currently sit with the No. 3 overall pick after Sunday’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons. And if you want to dream on bigger things, there is a realistic possibility that the Bears can climb even higher in the tank standings.

ESPN’s FPI projections forecast the Bears finishing the year with the NFL’s second-worst record. That would leave the Bears in a position to *checks notes* draft second overall in the 2023 NFL Draft. Wouldn’t that be quite the consolation prize? The Bears have chosen that high only once since 1992, but I have minimal interest in re-hashing the 2017 NFL Draft. Instead, I’m ready to look forward.

PFF’s Brad Spielberger explains how the No. 2 overall pick is reachable for these Bears. If you’re a fan of the Bears bottoming out and using the draft pick capital to come from it to accelerate their rebuild, you’ll want to check this out:

Good googly moogly, the Bears can have their pick of the litter if their tank leads them to the promise land of snatching the second overall pick. They’ll need some help along the way, but a depleted roster that could be without their starting quarterback down the stretch facing the sixth-hardest strength of schedule could have the stars aligning. And with the Panthers being the main competition for the Bears for that spot having the easiest remaining strength of schedule, things could line up quite nicely for Chicago’s football team this spring.

The Bears having the second overall pick could position them to select the NFL Draft’s top pass rusher (Alabama’s Will Anderson), a high-powered 3-technique defensive tackle (Georgia’s Jalen Carter), or a potential stud offensive tackle (Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski) to add to a team desperate to add talent. Or better yet, GM Ryan Poles could put the pick on the trade block and sell it to the highest bidder among teams desperate to draft whichever quarterback doesn’t go first overall. Poles could have the Panthers, Raiders, Seahawks, Lions, and Steelers ready to risk it all for that No. 2 overall pick. And for what it’s worth, the Seahawks (5th and 21st) and Lions (6th and 13th) each have a pair of first-round picks that could be awfully tempting for a team like the Bears needing a bevy of selections to get this rebuild to another level.

Because you’re curious, here are some recent examples of the second overall pick getting dealt:

  • 2016: The Browns traded the No. 2 pick to the Eagles for the No. 8 pick, a third-rounder (77th overall), a fourth-rounder (100th overall) PLUS a 2017 first-rounder (12th overall) and a 2018 second-rounder (64th) to draft Carson Wentz.
  • 2012: Washington’s football team made a deal with the St. Louis Rams to send their first-round pick (6th overall) and second-rounder (39th) in 2012, a 2013 first-rounder (22nd overall), and 2014 first-rounder (2nd overall). The prize? Quarterback Robert Griffin III.
  • 1998: In order to trade up to take QB Ryan Leaf, the San Diego Chargers traded the 3rd and 33rd overall selections in the 1998 NFL Draft, a 1999 first-rounder (8th overall), and two players (KR Eric Metcalf and LB Patrick Sapp) for the No. 2 overall pick.
  • In other words, Poles could demand a king’s ransom. And it wouldn’t be crazy to do so. At the end of the day, this might be the thing we’re rooting for the hardest as this 2022 season winds down. The Bears coming away from the 2023 NFL Draft with multiple first-round picks and in a position to build a contender through the draft is dreamy.

    And sure, Football Outsiders’ data foresees the Bears having a 5.1 percent shot at the No. 1 overall pick. The same site has the Bears settling nicely into a top 5 pick, as their 52.7 percent chance of landing in the top 5 is the third best. But there is a sweet spot of landing the second overall that remains ever so enticing. Especially with what could be on the horizon with trade offers that no sane GM could turn down.

    written by

    Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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