What the Bears can expect in a possible draft trade for the No. 1 pick originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Bears ended their season Sunday with a 29-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings to end the season at 3-14 and on a 10-game losing streak.
Despite all that, the future looks bright in Chicago because of what happened this season and in Indianapolis on Sunday.
Quarterback Justin Fields took a step forward in Year 2, but the Bears still have countless holes on their roster. Their mid-season offensive explosion appears to be just a jolt in a season marked as Year 0 of a rebuild. Yes, the Bears suffered several major injuries in the last game. But it’s also a desperate list of top talent in premium positions.
Sunday’s events should help put the Bears in position to add pieces around Fields and climb the NFL pyramid. The Houston Texans spent all season on pole position to have the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. But a Week 16 win over the Tennessee Titans put the Bears back in the No. 1 pick equation. 1, and the Texans’ win over the Colts on Sunday put the Bears past them for the top pick.
With the No. 1 pick in their pocket, the Bears should have several quarterback-needy teams calling them to trade for the right to draft Bryce Young or CJ Stroud. With Fields entrenched as a long-term option behind the Chicago center, the Bears could stage a bidding war and maximize the return on a trade for the No. 1 pick.
So what could the Bears expect in a trade for the No. 1 pick? You have to consider how far the Bears would slip in the draft and how many teams desperately need a quarterback. The level of desperation of these teams in need is also an important factor. Young is fine, but his size and small build make him far from safe. Still, there’s no doubt the Texans, Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts and Las Vegas Raiders will be in the market for Young or Stroud.
Since 1997, the No. 1 overall pick has been traded three times before the draft. If we want to count Eli Manning, who was technically drafted by the San Diego Chargers and traded to the New York Giants, the number is four.
1997 : The St. Louis Rams trade the No. 6 overall pick, a third-round pick, a fourth-round pick and a seventh-round pick to the Jets to draft Orlando Pace.
2001: The Atlanta Falcons trade the No. 5 overall pick, a third-round pick and a second-round pick from 2002 to the San Diego Chargers to draft Michael Vick.
2004 : New York Giants trade the rights of the No. 4 overall pick (Philip Rivers), a third-round pick, a 2005 first-round pick, and a 2005 fifth-round pick for the rights of the No. 1 pick (Eli Manning).
2016: The St. Louis Rams trade the No. 15 overall pick, two 2016 second-round picks, one 2016 third-round pick, one 2017 first-round pick and one 2017 third-round pick for the No. No. 1 in 2016 (Jared Goff), and a fourth and sixth round pick in 2016.
There are two other NFL Draft trades that didn’t involve the No. 1 overall pick, but are worth mentioning.
In 2012, Washington [redacted] traded three first-round picks and one second-round pick to the St. Louis Rams to move from No. 6 to No. 2 to select Robert Griffin III. In 2021, the 49ers traded the No. 12 overall pick and two future first-round picks to the Miami Dolphins to move to No. 3 draft pick Trey Lance.
The Dolphins used those three first-round picks to sign Jaylen Waddle and trade for Tyreek Hill and Bradley Chubb.
RELATED: Bear Overreactions: Is Writing Young or Stroud a Possibility?
The Bears could be in line to acquire a huge volume of assets.
But managing director Ryan Poles must also weigh the needs of his roster when striking a deal. The Bears need massive help on the defensive line. Trading too far will send Will Anderson and Jalen Carter off the board for the Bears. Depending on the type of trades on the table, the Poles may have to decide if an extra edge is worth passing to an elite defensive lineman and taking a chance on a guy like Myles Murphy or Bryan Bresee. further down the table..
As the losses piled up in 2022, the Bears find themselves holding the most valuable asset of the 2023 offseason. One that will help them jump-start their rebuild.
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