Mock Season: Could Bears and Raiders Come Together on Blockbuster 2023 NFL Draft Trade?
While Chiefs and Eagles fans prepare for the Super Bowl, Chicago Bears fans are obsessing over the latest mocks for the 2023 NFL Draft.
We’re still 87 days from the 2023 NFL Draft opening its doors, but we’re already up to our ears in mock draft scenarios. And, frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Well, I mean … sure, I’d rather be prepping for a Bears Super Bowl. But if we do wind up there anytime soon, the main reason will likely be because of what GM Ryan Poles does with the 2023 NFL draft class.
Another Blockbuster Raiders Trade?
OK, so the Bears didn’t get a Super Bowl appearance out of the Khalil Mack trade. That deal is still an all-timer to me.
I still maintain that both sides were getting what they were hoping for in terms of the asset swap. The Raiders got out of having to fork over big money for Mack while simultaneously getting a wave of ultra-valuable draft capital. Meanwhile, the Bears were bringing in the type of fearsome pass-rusher they didn’t acquire in free agency or the Draft. Again, it didn’t work out for the Bears’ ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl. Heck, they didn’t even win a single playoff game. And sure, it didn’t work out for the Raiders (those Mike Mayock picks weren’t much to write home about). But that won’t stop me from dreaming about another potential win-win deal for both sides.
In Chris Trapasso’s latest mock draft, he forecasts a Bears-Raiders trade that would rank among the draft weekend all-timers:
- BEARS GET: The Raiders’ 7th, 39th, 71st, 144th (or 147th) overall picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, as well as first-rounders in 2024 and 2025, plus a third-round choice in 2024, and fourth-round pick in 2025.
- RAIDERS GET: The No. 1 overall pick, which they would then use to take Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud.
For the moment, we’ll set aside Trapasso’s projection for the Bears and the seventh pick (Clemson off-ball linebacker Trenton Simpson), because I want to underscore how much value Chicago is getting elsewhere in that trade.
- A total of three first-rounders
- Three Day 2 picks
- Two additional Day 3 selections
That is a HAUL. It would take that type of haul for me to co-sign the Bears moving out of the top spot. Being in a spot to take a blue-chip prospect should be a priority. The Bears need ballers. Full stop.
As for the Simpson pick, I don’t like it one bit. The Bears taking an off-ball linebacker with a top-10 pick would be a misstep and misallocation of resources. This is nothing against Simpson, who I’m sure will find a home in the NFL. But the Bears have bigger needs at more important positions. And for what it’s worth, remembering how Head Coach Matt Eberflus was hinting that he (and Colts GM Chris Ballard) weren’t on board with taking Roquan Smith with a top 10 pick back in 2018 makes me think (1) Eberflus understands the positional value and (2) that a linebacker going in the top 10 is a non-starter.
Better fits for the Bears who were still on the board in the Trapasso draft: Texas Tech EDGE Tyree Wilson, Northwestern OT Peter Skoronski, Ohio State OT Paris Johnson Jr., Georgia OT Broderick Jones, and USC WR Jordan Addison.
Alternative Raiders-Bears swap
OK, so I don’t like this one as much. But it still is worth sharing:
The Bears getting the Raiders’ first two picks in the 2024 draft is a nice start. But the entirety of the trade (the 7th pick, Vegas’ first-two picks in 2024, and a second-rounder in 2025) feels awfully light. If that trade came across my screen on draft day, I’d yell at the TV and rage-type a post.
This Laurence Holmes mock draft is the ultimate dream scenario:
Holmes doesn’t dig into the trade compensation coming the Bears’ way. But if you use your imagination, then I’d bet you can envision what a possible return looks like. Multiple future first-round picks, an array of Day 2 selections, and various bits of draft capital sprinkled along the way. And we can’t look past the Bears taking Northwestern offensive lineman Peter Skoronski when they actually go on the clock.
Skoronski has been on our radar for a while. Landing the top-rated offensive lineman in this class would make for a nice building block for the future. There is no argument against that — especially after watching Fields’ protection fall short of what we deemed to be suitable.
A Double Trade-Down replacing the Double Doink as the most famous “double” in Bears history would represent a nice step away from the old era of Bears football. And it is what I’m rooting for in the hardest of ways.
Mock NFL Draft Roundup
Let’s see what folks around the mock draft universe are projecting for the Bears:
- It’s a complicated mock from CBS Sports’ Josh Edwards, to be sure. But a fun one. This complex three-team trade between the Panthers, Bears, and Cardinals is a wild one. It ends up with Carolina taking Alabama QB Bryce Young first overall and Chicago choosing Alabama DE Will Anderson Jr. third. This one is a doozy, but I like the end result.
- Vinnie Iyer (Sporting News) has the Bears sticking with the first overall pick and taking Anderson. So does Bucky Brooks (NFL Media). My preference would be to trade out of that pick and still take Anderson (or Georgia’s Jalen Carter). But we don’t always get what we want and we should prepare for that worst-case scenario. Then again, getting the draft’s best defensive player is as good as it gets when it comes to “worst-case” scenarios.
- Another Panthers trade scenario has the Bears getting Carolina’s first in 2023 (9th overall), 2024, and 2025 as part of a package that also includes a 2023 second-rounder (40th overall), and a 2024 third-rounder. All to take Kentucky QB Will Levis. As for the Bears’ selection, it’s another mock that sends Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski to Chicago. (The Draft Network)
- Luke Easterling (DraftWire) has a two-round mock that I’m into. Firstly, the Bears getting at least an additional first-round pick, second-round pick, “and likely more” from the Colts so they can move up from No. 4 to take CJ Stroud is a nice place to start. But what the Bears use with their first two rounds of picks also has my attention. Taking Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter (4th), his teammate/edge rusher Nolan Smith (35th via Indy), and Tennessee offensive tackle Darnell Wright (53rd via Baltimore by way of the Roquan trade) would be a heckuva way to address needs in the trenches.
- Marcus Mosher (PFF) doesn’t get into the mock trade details. But that’s OK because the Bears still land their guy with the 4th pick. Mosher’s analysis of the pick:
If the Bears fail to find a trade partner at No. 1, they might go with Jalen Carter. But in this mock, they are able to trade down and still get the generational defensive tackle prospect. Carter is a highly disruptive defensive tackle who can be nearly unblockable in one-on-one situations. The Bears have a long way to go on defense, but adding a talent like Carter would speed up the rebuild.
We still have a ways to go before the Bears go on the clock. But one thing is growing clear with each mock draft that comes our way. And we need to drive it home. GM Ryan Poles should have no shortage of options when it comes to potential trade partners. If he can properly use his leverage, then the Bears will be in a good spot on draft weekend.