Bears have an crucial offseason ahead
|2023-01-17 08:37:08.0- -|
Despite finishing the season with the league's worst record, the Bears are in a very advantageous scenario. The Bears will have the number one pick in next year's NFL draft, and while there are a multitude of holes for the Bears to fill on their roster, they have a quarterback they believe in and a lot of flexibility.
The Bears showed some promise during the season, especially with Justin Fields. Fields led the NFL in rushing by a quarterback and accounted for 25 touchdowns. The Bears got some big wins over the 49ers, and the Patriots and Justin Fields made some history in 2022. Fields became the first player all season to win NFC Player of the week in a losing effort and the first in NFL history to rush for 178 yards in a game. Fields also became the first-ever quarterback to have three 50+ yard rush TDs in a season and a career. Plus, the Bears became the first team in NFL History to lose four straight games when they put up 29+ points.
The Bears certainly have issues to fix — they had hardly any pass rush and struggled to protect Justin Fields, and they certainly lacked pass catchers, all things the Bears can look to upgrade through the draft and free agency. However, there are a few options the Bears could take with the No. 1 pick. It's no secret that the NFL puts a lot of weight into draft picks. Plus, the 2023 draft is quarterback heavy, and the Bears already have their guy, so there will be a multitude of teams looking for their new franchise quarterback — and the Bears have the most attractive pick of them all.
The Colts, Commanders, Raiders, Jets, and Texans will all be looking for quarterbacks. The Saints, Patriots, Lions, Panthers, Buccaneers, Packers, Seahawks, and Ravens all seem to not have their long-term answer at quarterback but may be in the market for one either via the draft or free agency. That leaves 13 potential teams who may be after the Bears' No. 1 pick — and at least four who will be trying to draft a quarterback in the first round.
There are numerous avenues Ryan Poles can take with the No. 1 pick, the Bears could trade down and target a wide receiver and some picks, and they can target a defensive lineman or pass rusher — all while still maintaining a first-round selection to select Will Anderson from Alabama. Chicago might even view Anderson or another player as a can't miss prospect and stay at No. 1. The Bears could even shock the world and draft a quarterback and trade Justin Fields for a haul. The Bears could even trade No. 1 to the Texans and get pick No. 2 and trade that to the Colts at No. 4 and truly stock up on young talent and draft picks.
The fact of the matter is the Bears have a large amount of wiggle room, and there is a multitude of ways the Bears could operate. With the number of draft picks, the projected financial room, and such a coveted position — this is a crucial offseason early in Ryan Poles' GM career.