Most of the NFL’s attention was on the AFC playoff picture during the early slate of Sunday’s Week 18 games, but another important development took place along the way. The results of the Bears’ and Texans’ respective contests has left Chicago with the top pick in the upcoming draft.
The Bears, facing no need to win their season finale against the Vikings, sat starting quarterback Justin Fields. That move ended his opportunity to break the all-time single-season rushing record at the position, but also helped lessen the chances of an upset which would have taken them out of contention for the No. 1 slot. In his place, Chicago used both Nathan Peterman and Tim Boyle under center en route to a 29-13 loss.
That left the door open to Houston taking themselves out of the top spot, something which would take place only in the event they won against the Colts – a team which has cratered under interim head coach Jeff Saturday. In a back-and-forth game, Houston was able to score a Hail Mary touchdown on fourth-and-20 inside the final minute to bring them within one of Indianapolis. They successfully executed a two-point conversion to seal the win, one which knocked them down to the second overall pick in the process.
While it remains to be seen what effect (if any) that result has on Houston head coach Lovie Smith and general manager Nick Caserio with respect to their job security, it marks a considerable shake-up in the draft order. The Texans appeared to be on track to secure the top slot for most of the season, but the Bears’ struggles left them within striking distance as well. Now, the Bears will have the opportunity to make the draft’s first selection for only the third time in franchise history and the first since 1947.
It should be noted, of course, that there is a very real possibility that today’s reversal at the top of the board does not end up having a dramatic effect on the way things play out. Presuming both teams keep their picks, Chicago will likely be inclined to add to their defense, given Fields’ improvement shown during the season, as well as his age (23) and contract status (two more years on his rookie contract, and the potential of a fifth-year option). That could point them towards Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. or Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter with the No. 1 pick.
Houston, meanwhile, is widely expected to target a quarterback in April with one of their two first-rounders. That has led to plenty of connections between the Texans and Alabama’s Bryce Young, the highest-rated passer in the 2023 class. Chicago selecting a defender (or at least a different signal-caller) first overall would still all-but assuredly leave the Texans with their top target on the board; their extra Day 1 pick could also help them outbid other suitors for the top slot should the Bears make it available.
In any event, Bears GM Ryan Poles and Caserio (or his replacement) will each be well-positioned to add significantly to their respective teams in the spring given today’s events.
48 comments on “Bears Clinch No. 1 Pick In 2023 NFL Draft”
David Blough is not on the Bears.
Yeah, I’m watching him lose to the Niners right now.
That’s actually a solid option for both the Bears and Texans; swap first round picks. The Bears need a stud WR and DL out of this draft. Heck, they need everything except a QB and RB.
congrats on Steelers clinching pick 33
32 lol. The dolphins sacrificed their pick.
lol ya u are correct
I love the irony of “the all knowing” insisting when obviously wrong
sorry. forgot Dolphins cheated and still didn’t get Brady.
If they did this, bears should ask for their second first round pick at least
Franchise altering win by Houston for both them and Chicago. Unless Chicago keeps the pick and just drafts Anderson which seems unlikely.
I think you have to trade down from there, even if to #2. Too tantalising to pass up.
Chicago can only keep this pick if they want to draft Young themselves and trade Fields. They have such a thin roster, and the bidding war for this pick could be huge.
There might be a bidding war for the pick but it will be very limited. The Bears don’t want to drop past #5 I would imagine. In a crazy world, Houston trades the #2 to the Bears so the Bears don’t slip it to the Colts. Then the Bears trade #2 to the Colts for more picks again and still get a good player. That might be wild. Anyway, We’ll find out if they really think Fields is the guy, One way or the other.
Houston and Indy have top five picks. Atlanta, Vegas, and Carolina could all be in the bidding in the top ten, too.
Why would the Bears drop back that far? What they should do is trade back to 5, Then draft that LT from USC I think,Might be wrong. Skoronski and that guy are the 2 best T’s in this draft but Skoronski is smart but has short arms and reach and might have to move to guard. The best thing the Bears can do for Fields is get him a franchise LT, Move Jones to RT and with Jenkins and Whitehair you might have something. They shouldn’t draft a WR that early as they can spend some of their ample cash to buy him one.
I’m talking bidding war here. If a team in the top ten but not five blows them out of the water, great. They’ll be able to get one of the top tackles in the back of the top ten. But with their roster, they need a lot. Both trenches and receivers. Jakobi Meyers is the best free agent receiver, so drafting one would make sense.
And I believe you mean Paris Johnson out of Ohio State?
Don’t remember but I thought he was from the West Coast but I wasn’t sure. You need to take a shot at drafting a stud LT as they don’t grow on trees and if you have to buy one in FA you’re going to overpay a ton. You take your shot to draft one when you can. Jones isn’t the answer. He got run over so many times I thought I was watching GTA.
In fairness, even good tackles often struggle as rookies. But yeah, they should be investing heavily up front.
You might be thinking of Andrew Vorhees out of USC, but he’s a guard and not likely a day one guy.
The front 7 is an absolute disaster as well as the o-line. It all depends on which spots they fill in FA before the draft. They do have 100 mill in cap space.
You also need to remember that a couple QB needy teams have multiple first round picks. I could see them getting into the bidding and the Bears getting paid big time
What is the point of trading Fields and drafting Young? Fields is a proven playmaker. He points on the board with virtually no help. Drafting Young sets them back a few years atleast. Getting cute with this rebuild will be a disaster.
Fields showed a lot of promise this year, but two years of his rookie deal are already up. I’d understand wanting a fresh start if you really like Young.
The Bears will absolutely trade down from the #1 pick as they need a ton of draft capital, The bad trade that cost the 1st pick of the second round should be recapped easily. The best scenario I’ve heard is the Bears trade #1 to the Colts for #5 and more picks, hopefully to include Colts 2nd round pick. Then they can either trade down again or make that pick which should yield a quality player. At least the Bears won something. Ton of FA cash, lots of picks, something to look forward to anyway.
Unclemike, I like your idea and hope the draft works out that way but that would mean the Bears have to sell the Texans on the idea that they will pick a QB with the first pick. I’d be surprised if the Texans fall for that. But your idea is otherwise sound. The Bears need all the picks they can get.
If the Bears trade the pick to Indy, They would be taking a QB. That’s a no brainer and doesn’t require selling aything. Which would leave the Texans with the #2 QB and they wouldn’t have their choice.
Also, Steelers now have the first pick in the 2nd round, because it’s the pick the Bears traded them for Chase Claypool. And there’s only 31 picks in first round this year, Miami forfeited theirs. So Pittsburgh almost has 2 first rounders, but get a discounted contract for a first round talent.
What a freaking steal this was. Thank you GB for getting into a bidding war. Steelers went 7-2 after the deal
Yeah Poles better hope Claypool and Fields develop together or Poles is gonna be ridiculed for that deal. It’s not a bust just yet but not awe inspiring so far. However if Poles shores up the line and Fields doesn’t have to run for his life all the time, It might turn out different. Still don’t know why they didn’t trade the late 2nd rounder they got instead and said take it or leave it. Either way Pack or Bears late pick it was gonna be a late 2nd rounder. Lets see if he can trade his way back into the early 2nd rd.
It’s still too soon to say this trade was lopsided. How could anyone fairly evaluate a guy thrown into that miserable offense mid-season? Let’s see what Claypool does next season. Hopefully with Mooney back and an infusion of more talent, he’ll step up. We’ll see.
There are 2 things Poles MUST do this off season. The first thing you do in any rebuild is shore up the O line and D Line. You start there. This draft looks stacked at DL. It was horrible this year. No idea what’s available in FA yet as some guys who might be available would get extended but that’s for later. It’s way too early to say who they’ll draft but he should be able to upgrade both with the cash and draft capital they have. I think Poles will be up to the task but we’ll see. he really had nothing to work with last year.
looks like steelers will pick 17, 32 & 49
they sit at 18 right now .. think they move up to 17 no matter who wins tn.
not sure tho with Detroit, but definitely move up if Green Bay wins
The Bears and Blackhawks battling for ineptitude bragging rights has been a real treat for fans in Chicago.
Fans should be happy the Hawks and Bears are positioning themselves to add elite talent to their respective rosters. I’ve seen enough of 8-8 Bears teams that can’t complete a forward pass or score more than 14 points in a game.
Hawks have 3 Cups in the past 12 years.
The Bears haven’t won a ****ing thing since the mid 80’s.
Congrats? When you give your young QB no line and weapons this happens. Draft D over O in this generation? Good luck Crosseyedlemon and other Bears fans.
Is he really a QB though?
No chance of knowing in my opinion. What did he have to work with? Surrounded by talent at OSU, he was great.
Bears were so #2 in 2022-2023,
That they are #1 !!
This was HUGE for Chicago as they will likely trade down a couple spots with a QB desperate team and still get their guy at 3 or 4. Judging from past scenarios like this, Chicago can end up getting substantial draft capital while, again, getting the guy they would have targeted w/ the 1st pick anyway.
Agreed. You trade down as many times as possible and still hit the targets on your board.
My crazy, and unrealistic, trade scenario would be Chicago trading #1 to the Raiders for #7 and Adams.
They better get way more than that.
What if they traded down to Houston, and then trade Houston’s 2nd pick to Indy. They could come out huge.
A good idea would be to just keep dropping down as long as teams are willing to bite.
Acquiring plenty of draft capital sounds good in theory but the reason teams are drafting high is because they don’t draft well to begin with. The Browns had 36 picks between 2017-19 and converted that into a total of 4 wins.
True. But it’s way too early to even evaluate Poles first class. He did all he could last year by turning 5 picks into 11 by trading down which got him a bunch of late round picks which isn’t a model for success. Still he made some picks I think might be useful. The 2 young secondary guys look like keepers. Jones might be a good OL but I think his future is at RT. Sanborn was a FA steal. Kramer might turn out, I always liked him but I think they can do better. The difference this year will be he’ll have some decent high draft picks so we’ll see. You don’t want 20 draft picks in one year anyway because that would cause a salary cap nightmare later. Pace’s total failure at drafting in the early rounds is legendary, But you can’t evaluate Poles until he actually has some early picks to make. He has a ton of cash, Plus 8 million in rollover cap from this year to work with but you don’t want to go hog wild. If he has to buy A LT and a WR 1 it’s going to cost them about 40 million, A hefty chunk. I’d rather they draft the LT and get a stud DT like Payne instead. I can’t recommend they draft Will Anderson as he’s undersized and more suitable for a 3-4 which they just abandoned but there are other Good DL besides Carter who will be available, Probably the deepest position in this draft.