Bears trade down with Panthers, line up QB-QB picks ahead of Cardinals

Mar 10, 2023, 3:52 PM

Cardinals NFL Draft Combine...

General manager Monti Ossenfort of the Arizona Cardinals speaks to the media during the NFL Combine at the Indiana Convention Center on February 28, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

The NFL Draft shakeup the league was waiting on came earlier than expected.

The Chicago Bears, holders of the No. 1 pick, are trading it to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for Nos. 9 and 61, a 2024 first-round pick, a 2025 second-round pick and standout wide receiver D.J. Moore, per the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Rapoport reported that the Panthers do indeed intend to select their quarterback of the future with the top pick. That plus the Houston Texans’ QB need at second overall opens the door for the Arizona Cardinals at third overall to have their choice between the two best defensive prospects in the draft: Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson and Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter.

The timing was bizarre at first, as Chicago surely would have wanted suitors to outbid each other up to the week of the 2023 NFL Draft on April 27. But Rapoport noted the timing of securing Moore as the top target for quarterback Justin Fields before free agency was key.

Despite inconsistent quarterback play since he got to the NFL, Moore has been extremely productive in his five-year career. The 25-year-old has racked up 364 catches for 5,201 yards with 21 touchdowns. That includes two seasons with at least 85 receptions and three of him breaking 1,000 yards.

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