Ryan Poles painted his masterpiece Friday when he traded the No. 1 overall pick to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for the No. 9 overall pick, No. 61, a 2024 first-round pick, a 2025 second-round pick, and star wide receiver D.J. Moore.
The Bears’ big move leaves the draft picture muddled as several teams try to scramble to adjust their plans with the Panthers slated to take a quarterback at No. 1. Will the Houston Texans take a quarterback at No. 2 if the Panthers take the guy on top of their board? Will the Colts be content getting the third-best quarterback in the class? How do the Cardinals operate at No. 3? Who takes a swing at the sliding Jalen Carter?
We’ll have several more of these before the Bears go on the clock at No. 9 on April 27. Let’s call this the “why the hell not?” edition:
1. Carolina Panthers: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
2. Houston Texans: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
3. Arizona Cardinals: Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama
4. Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
Trade! The Raiders see the first three quarterbacks fly off the board and make their move up to secure their signal-caller of the future. The Raiders send No. 7 overall and their third-round pick to the Seahawks to jump up for Will Levis.
5. Las Vegas Raiders: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
6. Detroit Lions: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
7. Seattle Seahawks: Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech
8. Atlanta Falcons: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
9. Chicago Bears: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
Yes, the Bears got a No. 1 receiver in Moore when they fleeced the Panthers for the No. 1 pick. But their wide receiver room still needs some work. Smith-Njigba is one of the few true blue-chip guys left on the board, and he already has a good rapport with Justin Fields. The Bears look hard at Paris Johnson but ultimately fill out their receiving corps with Smith-Njigba.
At No. 9, the Bears could have their pick of the three remaining "blue-chip" players in Smith-Njigba, Johnson, and Bijan Robinson. It's a tough choice and will change between now and draft day.
10. Philadelphia Eagles: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
11. Tennessee Titans: Paris Johnson, OT, Ohio State
12. Houston Texans: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
13. New York Jets: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
14. New England Patriots: Peter Skoronski, OL, Nortwestern
15. Green Bay Packers: Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa
16. Washington Commanders: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma
18. Detroit Lions: Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
20. Seattle Seahawks: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson
21. Los Angeles Chargers: Jordan Addison, WR, USC
22. Baltimore Ravens: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia
23. Minnesota Vikings: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
24. Jacksonville Jaguars: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland
25. New York Giants: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
26. Dallas Cowboys: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
27. Buffalo Bills: Brian Branch, S, Alabama
28. Cincinnati Bengals: Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
29. New Orleans Saints: Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh
30. Philadelphia Eagles: Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Will McDonald IV, EDGE, Iowa State
Remainders of Bears’ 2023 draft:
No. 53 overall (via Baltimore)
Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE, Kansas State
In trading back to No. 9, the Bears elected to pass on Will Anderson and Tyree Wilson. Their edge situation remains, and I’m being kind, a catastrophe. They’ll likely add to it in free agency, but that won’t be enough. Anudike-Uzomah is a bendy edge rusher with a great array of pass-rush moves. This is a big win for the Bears.
No. 61 overall (via Carolina from San Francisco)
Adetomiwa Adebawore, DL, Northwestern
The Bears have souped up their offense but still need a lot of help on the defensive front. There are questions about Adebawore’s role in the NFL. Will he put on more weight to play inside, or can he play consistently on the edge? He played all across the defensive line at Northwestern and blew scouts away with his athleticism at the combine. Adebawore ran a 4.49 40-yard dash at 282 pounds while clocking a 1.61 10-second split. He’s an explosive athlete who can play inside on early downs and potentially kick outside in obvious passing situations.
No. 64 overall
Matthew Bergeron, OT, Syracuse
The Bears will have gotten a good read on Bergeron from their time at the Senior Bowl. The 6-foot-5, 318-pound tackle has experience playing on both sides of the line. He has excellent athleticism and versatility, which will appeal to Poles and the Bears. While some think Bergeron will eventually kick inside to guard in the NFL, the Quebec native said he has no doubt he is a left tackle during his availability at the combine.
No. 103 overall
Eli Ricks, CB, Alabama
Ricks was one of the best cornerbacks in college football during his freshman season at LSU. After an injury-plagued sophomore season, he transferred to Alabama. Ricks was sensational when on the field for the Tied. He allowed the lowest completion rate among FBS corners, per Pro Football Focus, and tied for second in yards allowed per coverage snap.
No. 133 overall (via Philadelphia)
Roschon Johnson, RB, Texas
Many think Johnson could be one of the big pre-draft risers. Until that rise officially starts, I’m going to plug him in here. Johnson is a hard runner with a 45 percent forced missed tackle rate over the past two seasons. Johnson is an outstanding pass blocker with an above-average ability to make plays as a receiver. He has strength, vision, and balance. If he doesn’t rise, the Bears should pounce on the Texas back in Round 4.
DeMarvion Overshown, LB, Texas
The Bears have a gaping hole at WILL linebacker. Overshown is a converted safety who compares his game to Shaq Leonard. While he needs some work in run defense, his coverage skills, instincts, and athleticism should allow him to match up with tight ends and some slot receivers. If the Bears’ staff can help polish Overshown, he could end up being a draft steal.
No. 148 (via Baltimore)
Olu Oluwatimi, IOL, Michigan
Oluwatimi is a four-year starter with a high football IQ. He is a strong pass-blocker best suited for a zone-run scheme since it will allow him to move laterally in the run game. The Bears don’t have a long-term answer at center, and I like what Oluwatimi can bring to their offensive line room.
RELATED: Moore vital to Bears' fleecing of Panthers for several reasons
Brenton Strange, TE, Penn State
At 6-foot-4, 253 pounds, Strange is an athletic developmental tight end who could go under the radar in a draft filled with good tight ends. He’s an athletic route-runner who is a good blocker in-line and space. He’ll need time to iron out some technique issues, but he could end up being a plus-starter that teams pass on because of lackluster production in college.
No. 258 (compensatory)
Ali Gaye, EDGE, LSU
The 6-foot-6, 263-pound Gaye has the prototypical length and frame desired in an NFL edge rusher. The effort and traits are there, but Gaye needs work to become an effective rusher at the next level—a good low-risk bet in the final round.