Bears' Top Prospect Targets, Trade Options with No. 1 Pick in 2023 NFL Draft

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Bears’ Top Prospect Targets, Trade Options with No. 1 Pick in 2023 NFL Draft

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    The Chicago Bears reside in the best position they could have asked for entering the 2023 NFL offseason.

    They hold all the power at the top of the 2023 NFL draft board with the No. 1 overall pick.

    The Bears could select one of the premier defensive prospects in the draft class or use the top pick as a trade chip.

    General manager Ryan Poles could take advantage of the teams beneath Chicago in the draft order that need quarterbacks way more than the Bears.

    The Indianapolis Colts and Carolina Panthers will have new head coaches to choose signal-callers, while the Las Vegas Raiders, New York Jets and maybe even the Atlanta Falcons could be in the same market.

    Any of those teams could put together packages to entice the Bears to move down from No. 1 and collect draft picks to bolster their roster this offseason.

Top Prospects

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    The Chicago Bears will most likely look to the defensive side of the ball if they stay at No. 1.

    Their trades of Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith in October upgraded the probability that their first-round pick would be a defensive player.

    And the Bears can look to two of the most consistent programs in college football for their next defensive star.

    Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter is a game-wrecker up the middle. He could be a vital piece for the defensive rebuild since Chicago has to deal with so many talented running backs in the NFC North.

    The Bears need to contain Aaron Jones, A.J. Dillon, Jamaal Williams and Dalvin Cook to give Justin Fields and Co. more time to operate on offense. A large run-stopping presence would help with that goal.

    Alabama edge-rusher Will Anderson Jr. is the other top option on defense. He could take over the pass-rushing spot Quinn occupied during his time with the team.

    The Alabama product is a more dynamic pass-rusher and could be a game-wrecker off the edge in his own right.

    Either player would offer a significant upgrade to the current Bears roster, and they would provide a huge boost to the overhaul that is taking place under Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus.

Trade with Indianapolis

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    The Indianapolis Colts seem like the most reasonable trade partner for the Bears.

    Indianapolis sits at No. 4 with a clear need for a quarterback after its failed attempts to bring in veteran signal-callers.

    The Colts need a young signal-caller to work with their new head coach, but they don’t have any extra draft picks to package in a potential trade. They possess one selection in each of the seven rounds.

    Indianapolis will likely have to offer one or two picks from its 2024 collection to sweeten the deal for the top pick.

    Chicago needs to maximize any potential trade package so that it can replenish the roster to the best of its abilities in the offseason.

    A collection of four to five picks would probably suffice for the Bears, especially if the Colts add their first- or second-round pick from 2024 to the deal because the No. 1 overall pick is involved.

Trade with Las Vegas

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    The Las Vegas Raiders are the next team in the draft order behind Indianapolis with a glaring quarterback need.

    The Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions could use the No. 5 and No. 6 picks to build around Geno Smith and Jared Goff instead of bringing in a new signal-caller.

    Las Vegas may move on from Derek Carr in the offseason to give Josh McDaniels a new signal-caller to mold over the next few years.

    The Raiders have an extra pick in the fifth and seventh rounds that could be tacked on to the back end of a potential trade with the Bears.

    The No. 7 overall pick and the Nos. 38 and 70 selections should be on the table in negotiations for the top selection.

    The concern from the Bears’ perspective may be that the No. 7 overall pick is too low to drop given the defensive prospects they could take in the top five. Chicago could always trade back up into the top five, but that seems like a more tedious task.

    If Las Vegas makes the best possible offer, the Bears have to evaluate if a six-spot drop would benefit their roster rebuild. That would be dependent on which picks and how many are offered.