Bears lean toward trading down from No. 1 pick, per report

Feb 27, 2023, 8:20 AM
Chicago Bears NFL football team general manager Ryan Poles walks on the field prior to an NFL footb...

Chicago Bears NFL football team general manager Ryan Poles walks on the field prior to an NFL football game between the Chicago Bears and Houston Texans, Sept. 25, 2022, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski, File)

(AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski, File)

The possibility of chaos atop the 2023 NFL Draft looks like it’s growing. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Chicago Bears are “leaning toward” trading down from the first overall pick and have received interest from multiple teams wanting to move into the top slot.

Obviously, a few steps have to take place for that to happen.

Likely, one of the top prospects, perhaps a quarterback, must jump out to one of those interested teams.

Then, there will need to be a worthy package to entice Bears general manager Ryan Poles to slide down the order.

Poles in mid-January said he’d need to be “blown away” by a quarterback prospect to draft him with current rising QB Justin Fields on the roster. The news of the Bears’ thinking about trading down comes as the NFL Draft Combine ramps up to start the week.

Chicago is in a similar situation to that of the Arizona Cardinals, who own the No. 3 overall pick and have a franchise quarterback in Kyler Murray locked into a long-term contract through 2028.

How the top pick goes will likely determine how Arizona acts on draft day as new general manager Monti Ossenfort also considers whether to draft or trade down.

With the quarterback-needy Texans holding the No. 2 pick, Chicago trading down as another team jumps Houston to draft a quarterback will shape what happens at No. 2 and No. 3.

It could lead to the Cardinals finding a potential star front-seven member at the third pick with Georgie tackle Jalen Carter, Alabama pass-rusher Will Anderson and others possibly available.

Or a team still likes a prospect at No. 3 and gives Arizona more draft opportunities to trade down from that slot.

“The benefit is that we’re going to be ready to pick a premium player that’s going to be able to come in here and have an impact on our team,” Ossenfort said in January. “The other benefit is there could be calls on that pick … We’re going to do what’s best for the team so if we get a chance to drop back and pick up additional picks that will help build the team, we’re going to entertain that.

“We’re in a great position and I would say the same for every pick of that round. There’s going to be action. The phone rings in the draft. The phone will ring. We’ll be ready to take a good player and we’ll be ready to listen to offers, too, so we’re in a great position with that pick.”

How this week’s combine showcases the talents of the quarterbacks — and otherwise — could sway teams’ thinking.

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