With the regular season wrapping up, the Chicago Bears have solidified that they will be selecting first in the 2023 NFL Draft. The possibilities are nearly endless with what they can choose to do with their selection. Chicago has several team needs on both offense and defense but aren’t planning on using the selection to draft a quarterback.
When asked about their plans for the pick and if they are thinking about taking a quarterback, GM Ryan Poles said that they are planning on Justin Fields being their starting quarterback in 2023. Having the first pick in the draft gives the Bears ample flexibility with how they want to approach the team’s future. At least for now, it seems like that future still includes Fields as their starting quarterback.
Fields played in 15 games this season. He completed 60.4% of his passes for 2,242 yards with 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The place where Fields dramatically improved was on the ground. He had 160 carries and ran for 1,143 yards with eight touchdowns. The reason that Fields’ name has been floated in trade rumors has been due to the team’s finish and his lack of a step forward as a passer. He still has at least two seasons left on his rookie deal and could have a third if the team chooses to pick up his fifth-year option.
So what else could Chicago do with the No. 1 pick if a quarterback is off the table? The likeliest scenario is that they end up trading back for ample future draft capital and maybe even some players. While they don’t feel like they need a quarterback, multiple other teams definitely do and will likely be hitting the Bears’ phone lines. If Chicago does choose to keep their draft pick, look for the team to address the defense. Alabama DE Will Anderson would be a Day 1 starter for them and instantly help to bolster their defensive front seven. They could also look at interior lineman Jalen Carter from Georgia. He would be the second straight No. 1 pick from UGA as well as the second consecutive DT taken with the No. 1 overall pick.