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Potential trade packages and partners if the Bears trade the 2023 first overall pick

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Word has gotten out around the NFL about a possible Chicago Bears trade down in the 2023 NFL Draft.

After a disastrous 2022 campaign, the Bears were granted the top overall pick in this year’s draft. But the latest Chicago Bears draft rumors indicate the Bears are at least open to trading the top overall pick. 

Bears trade down in 2023 Draft: Potential trades for first overall pick

Instead of focusing on the Bears’ free agency targets, which is the more immediate plot line, the rumor mill is now filled with possible trades for the top pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

If the Bears trade down in the 2023 NFL Draft, who will get the top pick and what will Chicago get in exchange for it? The list of possibilities is a mile long, so let’s explore some of the more likely scenarios and trade partners if the Bears trade the first overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft.


In theory, the Texans are in an ideal position heading into the 2023 NFL Draft. They pick second overall and then again 12th overall. Also, they know that Chicago has Justin Fields and probably won’t draft a quarterback first overall. That will leave Houston with access to its top-choice quarterback, which will probably be Alabama’s Bryce Young.


However, rumors that the Bears are open to trading the top overall pick means another team could leapfrog ahead of them and grab Young, assuming he’s the quarterback the Texans covet.

To play it safe and ensure they get Young, the Texans might be forced to trade up one spot. If they don’t, they risk the Bears trading the pick somewhere else. 

The good news for the Texans is they are probably better positioned to offer Chicago an enticing deal to make the Bears trade down in the 2023 NFL Draft. As mentioned, Houston has both the second and 12th overall picks, not to mention the 33rd overall pick early in the second round.

They also have early picks in the third and fourth rounds. There is also talk of Houston being willing to send veterans like Brandin Cooks or Laremy Tunsil to Chicago to sweeten the deal for the Bears and free up some cap space. This is another reason why the Texans are the most likely trade partner for the top overall pick.


The Colts have tried and failed in recent years to plug a veteran quarterback into their team. Therefore, they might be looking to take a different tactic and mold a young quarterback. Keep in mind that new head coach Shane Steichen worked wonders with Justin Herbert during his rookie season before helping to groom Jalen Hurts over the last two seasons.


If Young is the quarterback who Steichen thinks he can best mold into a star, it makes sense for Indy to jump ahead of the Texans and trade for the top overall pick.

With the fourth overall pick, the Colts wouldn’t have to jump too far. In theory, the Bears wouldn’t lose a lot of value by falling from first overall to fourth overall if they aren’t planning on taking a quarterback.

The Colts also have two other picks within the top 80 picks of the draft that could be used to convince the Bears to drop to fourth overall, as well as second and third-round picks in future years that could help the Colts outbid any other competitors for the top overall pick.


Cutting ties with Derek Carr earlier this offseason made the Raiders a prime candidate to trade up for the no. 1 pick. Even if signing a veteran who becomes available is their preference, Josh McDaniels needs to keep his options open because some team is going to lose the game of quarterback musical chairs in the lead-up to the draft.

If Las Vegas doesn’t end up with a veteran quarterback, desperation could lead the Raiders to work out a deal with the Bears for the top pick.

The Raiders would likely have to pick up the seventh overall pick and their second-round pick, which is 35th overall. Las Vegas would have to provide a little more value than the Texans or Colts because dropping from first to seventh is noticeably further than dropping to second or fourth overall.

The Raiders might be more inclined to include a future second-round pick. Of course, if the Bears want volume, Las Vegas already has six picks either in or after the fifth round of this year’s draft, so adding multiple late-round selections could be part of the package the Raiders offer Chicago.


The Panthers are another team with a new coach that might be looking to get a fresh start with a rookie quarterback. If the Bears are making the first pick available, it would make sense for Carolina to at least check in with them.

With the ninth overall pick, Carolina might be able to find a suitable quarterback without trading up, but if the Panthers have a strong preference, trading up might be their best option.

In terms of trade value, Carolina has two picks in the second round and three of the top 93 picks, giving the Panthers some flexibility when putting together a trade package for the Bears. That’s important because it could require multiple second-round picks to convince Chicago to drop from first overall to ninth overall.

Keeping the pick

Finally, let’s not forget about the possibility of the Bears keeping the top pick. There is a chance that Chicago will shop Fields and find someone willing to take him off their hands. That would allow the Bears to draft their quarterback of choice with the first overall pick.

It remains to be seen if there is serious interest in Fields, but trading him isn’t out of the question given the game of quarterback musical chairs that’s likely to begin soon.

At the same time, if the Bears don’t get an offer that they can’t refuse, they could keep both Fields and the top overall pick. If that happens, Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter and Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. are the most likely options for that pick, as both will help the Bears to start rebuilding their defense while continuing to give Fields a chance to develop.

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