The Chicago Bears should likely be the top pick in the 2023 NFL draft, and one trading partner stands out from the rest.
The Indianapolis Colts own the rights to the #4 pick and need a quarterback as much or more than any franchise in the league. Indy general manager Chris Ballard has previously stated publicly that he will “do whatever it takes” to secure the team’s future under center, and there’s no better way to do that than in a quarterback -exchange heavy draft for 1st place.
Brent Sobleski of the Bleacher Report argued Jan. 11 that a relegation of just three spots could earn Chicago four draft picks, including two firsts, while remaining in the top four in 2023.
Chicago doesn’t need to brag much given the strength of its offseason position, which Over The Cap says is bolstered by about $92 million in salary caps. However, the more likely the Bears are to use top pick for a quarterback, the better price they can get for walking away from it.
Some unconventional wisdom suggests that Chicago could do better by trading breakout star Justin Fields, drafting a player like Alabama’s Bryce Young, getting four more years of quality quarterback play at a rookie price instead of just two, and to leverage the draft capital and salary they create to add Young to the roster.
While it’s an intriguing offer, trading Fields might be stretching fate a little too much given the Bears’ 100-plus year history of mediocre-to-poor quarterback play. However, entertaining the proposal and outplaying interested teams should allow Chicago to source the No. 4 pick and at least one other first-round picks from the Colts in the future, as well as a handful of middle-round picks to complete the contract.
The Colts are also an ideal trading partner for the Bears, as Chicago would still pick fourth in a 2023 loaded draft class.
This position should give the team the option to draft either Anderson or Carter, as Sobleski mentioned above. The linebacker and defensive tackle are both considered generational talents in their respective positions, and both would be a perfect fit for a defensively oriented Bears team looking for pass rushing and strength from within.
The unique quality offered by Anderson and Carter is the only thing that could hamper Chicago in No. 1 trade talks given their notion of trading outside the top 5 with a team like the Las Vegas Raiders or the Carolina Panthers a lot less palatable and therefore much more expensive for the admirer concerned.