NFL Rumors: Bears Could Get Bigger Trade Haul for No. 1 Pick Than in 2023, per Execs

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Todd Rosenberg/Getty ImagesOne year after trading away the No. 1 pick for a great return from the Carolina Panthers, the Chicago Bears find themselves with a big decision involving the top selection in the 2024 NFL draft.

Per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Courtney Cronin, the feeling among executives around the league is the Bears “could net more” in a trade for the No. 1 pick this year than what they got from Carolina in March 2023.

“Those execs believe the price to get to No. 1 could be two future first-rounders on top of this year’s pick,” Fowler and Cronin wrote, “along with a variation of a Day 2 pick and/or a premium veteran player on a manageable contract.”

The Panthers sent D.J. Moore, first- and second-round draft picks in 2023, a 2024 first-round selection and 2025 second-round pick to Chicago in exchange for the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft.

Carolina used that selection on Bryce Young, hoping he would be the long-term answer to the team’s issues at quarterback. While it would be unfair to completely write off Young after one season, especially when the talent around him isn’t very good, the initial returns have been very disappointing.

In fact, all of the Panthers’ problems resulted in them securing the worst record in the NFL this season thanks to their 26-0 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. The Bears become the first team since the 2017 and 2018 Cleveland Browns to have the No. 1 pick in back-to-back years.

It’s not a surprise the top pick in 2024 would be viewed as more valuable than it was last year. Young, C.J. Stroud and Anthony Richardson were all well-regarded coming out of college, but Caleb Williams and Drake Maye seem to be held in higher esteem as prospects.

Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer wrote last month that one AFC executive said Williams and Maye would have been the top two picks in 2022 and 2023.

An NFC executive told Breer said he would “definitely” rank Maye and Williams ahead of every quarterback prospect who has come out since 2021 except Trevor Lawrence.

LSU’s Jayden Daniels doesn’t seem to be in the mix for the top spot, but ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has the reigning Heisman Trophy winner ranked as the No. 4 prospect in the 2024 draft class.

The presence of Justin Fields gives the Bears front office a lot to consider before they go on the clock in April. He’s still inconsistent at times, particularly with his accuracy, but the upside remains impressive.

There’s almost no wrong decision for the Bears to make, especially since they also own their own first-round pick that is currently No. 10 overall. It will likely all come down to how highly the front office regards at least one of Williams, Maye and Daniels, and how they compare to Fields.


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