If there was any doubt that the Bears were keeping Justin Fields and the Panthers were taking a QB, well, those doubts are done and over with. This major trade sends the Bears down eight slots and the Panthers up eight slots in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Both teams are clearly entering new eras with their respective franchises, as the Panthers hired Frank Reich this year and are clearly wanting to get a long-term QB option in the building, which should be a nice change of pace for the coach as he had a fresh starting QB every season he was with the Indianapolis Colts.
The Bears are clearly going to invest in Justin Fields and give him every chance to succeed. Them trading all the way down to the eighth overall pick does not take them out of the running for one of the top offensive linemen on the board, which should be their move.
The trade also send WR DJ Moore to the Bears, which gives Chicago a true #1 threat for Fields.
The Bears’ top WRs are Moore, Chase Claypool, and Darnell Mooney, which is as solid as it gets. I’d expect them to add another wide receiver somewhere, but the eight overall pick should be penciled in as an offensive linemen.
On the Panthers side, we can confidently say that the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft will be a QB.
Insider and radio host Benjamin Allbright has thought that CJ Stroud would be the selection for the Panthers:
I’m sure Carolina is a bit relieved that they have a chance to get a long-term QB in the building, which might give them a head start in the NFC South, which is embarrassingly weak.
Bears’ GM Ryan Poles, to me, is an early winner of the 2023 NFL Draft after pulling this trade off.