Since they were awarded the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, many believed the Chicago Bears would want to trade the selection, moving down while also collecting some more assets.
That seems to be the case as the Draft draws near.
The Bears have reportedly been called by multiple teams regarding a trade for the No. 1 pick, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He adds that Chicago is “leaning toward” moving down in the Draft via trade.
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Why? The key reason is the emergence of quarterback Justin Fields this past season. General manager Ryan Poles said in January that Fields is the team’s quarterback, which made speculation about the first overall pick only buzz more.
Because Fields, the 11th overall pick in the 2021 Draft, took a big leap in production this past season, despite the Bears’ record, Chicago believes they have a quarterback of the future already on their roster.
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With that thought process in place, Poles doesn’t need the first overall pick to draft a quarterback. Meanwhile, teams like the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts and others are looking for a quarterback this offseason and are likely to want to select over the rest of the competition.
Poles could ensure himself a lower first-round pick as well as more draft compensation that is crucial for the Bears’ continued rebuild under his watch.
“We have flexibility where if there’s opportunities where if we can turn that into a lot of players that come in and help us, we can do that,” Poles said in January, via ESPN. “If it’s staying put or really being selective with certain people, we can do that as well. I know my expectation, our expectation, is that we move the needle to be more successful. We can win some of these close games and bring in guys that can impact this football team.”
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If the Bears do stay put, Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson has been mocked to them on numerous occasions. However, with Chicago leaning toward giving the pick to someone else, all eyes will be on who can present Poles with the best trade package to move into that first overall spot.
Fields saw a jump in yards (2,242), touchdown passes (17) and completion percentage (60.4) in 15 games with the Bears last season. But it was his ability to run that put the league on notice, as he rushed for 1,143 yards to lead all quarterbacks and had eight touchdowns on the ground as well.
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While Fields’ accuracy and pocket passing have been questioned, his athletic ability certainly hasn’t. Experts are wondering what a good supporting cast for Fields will do for him, and that’s what Poles wishes to bring in to the Windy City.
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