The Chicago Bears are in no rush to make their intentions known for the No. 1 pick. GM Ryan Poles said there will be no clarity on this topic for at least a month. There’s still the Senior Bowl, the East-West Shrine Bowl and the scouting combine to get through. Once that data is collected, the Bears will have a good idea of the 2023 draft class and how it might pan out. The Poles will then be able to decide whether to make the selection or trade him to a team desperate for a defender.
Longtime NFL insider John McClain has no doubt what will happen. He explained on Night Football in Chicago that it was almost a foregone conclusion that the Bears would trade the pick. They are in the perfect position to create a competitive war. While there could be several teams interested in the pick, McClain believes Chicago will only deal with two. It’s Houston and Indianapolis. The main reason is that, based on what he’s heard, the team doesn’t want to fall too far for fear of losing Will Anderson or Jalen Carter. The Texans (No. 2) and Colts (No. 4) are guaranteed to land one of them.
When asked what he heard, McClain did not hesitate. He thinks the Bears make a deal with the Colts and take either Carter or Anderson at #4.
For the Chicago Bears, it makes perfect sense.
In that scenario, the Poles would get the best of both worlds. He provides some additional picks for his coffers, remaining in the top five. That’s where he can get his defensive line to make a potential difference. The big question is whether the Texans can make a bid to prevent that from happening. McClain noted that it is possible. GM Nick Caserio is floating extra picks. Houston has two 1st rounders in 2023 and 2024. He also has ten picks this year alone. Moving up one spot to secure his quarterback of choice shouldn’t be a big deal for him. This way, the Bears would pick either Anderson or Carter.
It comes down to a simple question. Do the Chicago Bears want fewer picks, but their choice is between two players or more picks and will likely end up with the player they wanted a little less. McClain is probably right. Given where this roster is, Poles will choose the deal that gets him more picks. He also has a relationship with Colts GM Chris Ballard, so communication will be much easier between the two sides. Clarity on this topic should emerge from mid-March.