The Carolina Panthers paid dearly to land the No. 1 overall selection from the Chicago Bears in the 2023 NFL Draft — they used it on Alabama quarterback Bryce Young — and the price wound up including the No. 1 pick in April’s 2024 draft.
If someone is going to wrestle the No. 1 overall selection from the Bears this time around, the cost will be a “historic haul of draft picks and overall compensation,” NFL.com reported Saturday.
Should they keep the pick, the Bears could choose a quarterback, just three years after using the No. 11 overall selection of the 2021 draft on Justin Fields.
The Bears would have options at QB should they choose to trade Fields, who is 10-28 as a starter but showed improvement in 2023, and start fresh at the position. Choices include 2022 Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams of Southern California, 2023 winner Jayden Daniels of LSU and North Carolina’s Drake Maye.
The Bears also own the No. 9 pick in the draft.
“We are going to turn every stone to make sure that we are going to make a sound decision for our organization,” Bears general manager Ryan Poles told reporters in January. “I did think Justin got better. I think he can lead this team. But at the same time, there is a unique situation.”
Poles and the Bears’ evaluators will get a look at the quarterbacks at the NFL Scouting Combine, which begins late this month in Indianapolis, and at on-campus pro days.
In the meantime, Fields, 24, is expected to draw trade interest.
Fields missed four games last season due to injury and had a 5-8 record. Still, he threw for career highs in completion percentage (61.4) and yards (2,562) and added 16 touchdowns and a career-low nine interceptions. He engineered three game-winning drives.
He added 657 rushing yards and four touchdowns in 2023, a season after gaining 1,143 rushing yards and scoring eight times.
The draft is scheduled for April 25-27 in Detroit.
–Field Level Media
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