Who is more likely to trade up to No. 1 pick – Colts or Panthers?

Tepper, Irsay

As the draft gets closer, anticipation continues to build across the NFL.

With the Chicago Bears in prime position at No. 1, quarterback-needy teams below them could send a treasure chest full of picks to Ryan Poles’ doorstep for the top pick. The Bears’ general manager could even trade down multiple times and collect even more picks.

There are a number of teams with picks inside the top 10 that might be inclined to move up, including the Indianapolis Colts and Carolina Panthers, among others.

But which squad is more likely to make the leap? On Thursday’s edition of “PFT Live,” Mike Florio and Myles Simmons debated that topic and came to a common conclusion.


“I feel like it’s the Colts right now,” Simmons explained. “Partially because you have a GM in Chris Ballard who may or may not be on the hot seat. You’ve got a more patient (Panthers) owner in David Tepper when it comes to finding that quarterback in this particular draft class.

“And I think it would be easier for the Bears to accept a trade down to No. 4 overall than it would be for No. 9 overall.”

The Colts are certainly desperate for a promising young quarterback after cycling through Jacoby Brissett, Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan since Andrew Luck retired. In total, they’ve started seven different quarterbacks over the last four seasons.

Florio agreed with Simmons’ take on the Colts trading up to No. 1 over the Panthers, albeit for a slightly different reason. He sees both owners being interested in the pick, but the one with the better current draft slot should have the edge.

“Probably the only thing David Tepper and Jim Irsay have in common is that they are prone to be very impulsive,” Florio said. “I could see Tepper, after years of trying to get a franchise quarterback and none of them wanting to play for the Panthers, finally say ‘to hell with it, we’re going all in.’ And I could see Irsay doing it. He was already blabbing about Bryce Young during the Shane Steichen introductory press conference, I’m sure to the dismay of Chris Ballard.

“I think the Colts are more likely because you don’t have to go as far to get there. The farther you have to go, the more it’s going to cost. I could see the Panthers striking Nos. 5, 6, 7 range (to select a quarterback).”

With Justin Fields solidified as the Bears’ quarterback, Florio wants to see Poles trade down as many times as he can – especially with desperate suitors littered throughout the top 10.

“I’m fascinated by the possibility of the Bears going down to No. 2 with the Texans, then No. 4 with the Colts and then as far as No. 9 with the Panthers,” he said. “Because Ryan Poles told Peter King over the weekend that they’ve got six or eight guys with that blue rating, guys who will come in and be impact players. If four quarterbacks get picked before you pick at No. 9, do the math. One of those guys is available because the players you want aren’t quarterbacks.”


There’s still seven weeks before draft night, so rumors will only continue to grow until the Bears make a decision. For now, Chicago would be wise to exercise patience and let another team panic.