Before you comment: Yes, it’s wayyyy too early to be overreacting to mocks for the 2023 NFL Drafts. The draft order isn’t even set yet. And we’ll have a far better idea of which players and position group will be targeted after the post-free agency dust settles.
HOWEVER, it’s never too early to dig into some of the early forecasts. And, of course, it doesn’t hurt that the Chicago Bears have the No. 1 pick.
The Bears are in the driver’s seat for 2023, and can therefore dictate all the action from the top. Indeed, we all generally expect Bears GM Ryan Poles to accumulate a treasure trove of draft picks by sending the first overall pick to some QB-starved team. And that’s notable, since a whole bunch of early mock drafts are projecting at least one Bears trade-back, as well as teams moving up for QBs.
An Unprecedented Draft
The whole point of landing the No. 1 pick is to be in a position to shake up your roster in a big way. Whether that’s standing pat and taking the best defensive player or trading back for a boatload of picks, this is why the Bears tanked so darn hard after that win against the Patriots on Monday Night Football.
Their reward for futility is being in the catbird’s seat going into the 2023 NFL Draft.
And that means they could do something we’ve never seen before. Such as the ultra-attractive double-trade back. The 33rd Team Scouting Department put together a mock draft that forecasts significant trade movement. Which, yes, features the Bears prominently.
This particular mock draft has the Bears trading with the Texans and Colts. Even without dishing on what the complete return would be from the Bears’ side of things, the double trade-back remains a dream scenario, in my opinion. Especially with these particulars. Just imagine pitting division rivals against each other to the Bears’ ultimate benefit. Stockpiling future draft considerations and still drafting Alabama star pass-rusher Will Anderson is the stuff my dreams are made of these days.
More Trade-up Candidates Than Expected
We shared Dan Brugler’s (The Athletic) mock draft plans for the Bears last week. But what we did not discuss was that the Bears trade back was just one of multiple projected draft day trades for quarterbacks.
All in all, Brugler forecasts two other trade-ups for quarterbacks, making three in total. After the Bears and Colts make their swap, a third first-round trade-up comes with the Lions climbing up three spots in a trade with the Packers to take Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson. This is eye-opening because of the intra-division trade. But also because this would go opposite of Detroit’s show-of-support for Jared Goff. Maybe that’s something to keep an eye on, as we move along.
Is this too far of a trade-back?
I’m not keen on trading down too far in the upcoming draft. After all, one of the main goals in moving back would be to get draft capital *AND* a premier prospect. Maybe that’ll prove to be a tough balance to strike. However, it is one I hope the Bears front office tries (and succeeds) to accomplish.
- BEARS GET: The 9th overall pick (used on Clemson DL Bryan Bresee), Carolina’s two second-round picks (40th, 62nd), first-round and third-round picks in 2024, a 2025 second-rounder, and rising fourth-year receiver Lavish Shenault.
- PANTHERS GET: The first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, which they
OK, if that’s the best offer available, then that feels like it would be just about what it would need to be for me to even CONSIDER trading down. Especially since Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter and Alabama pass rusher Will Anderson will be long gone by that point. Trading down to No. 9 putting the Bears out of a place to get either of those impact talents might be a dealbreaker. And I would totally understand why. But the Bears coming away with two other top 70 picks (they’d have a total of 4 such selections), and three other future picks over the following two drafts is such a sweetener. Maybe bumping that 2025 second-rounder into a conditional first-rounder would put me over the top. Throw in another future first and then we’re cooking with oil.