Following on from last week’s look at the players to receiver the NFL Franchise Tags, there has been some sensational news when it comes to the forthcoming 2023 NFL Draft.

The Chicago Bears, who had the first pick of the 2023 NFL Draft have traded away that pick.

The recipients of the pick, the Carolina Panthers, have had to pay a hefty price in order to acquire that first selection.

So what is the deal? How do things now look for the Bears and Panthers?

Additionally, how has this changed the outlook of next month’s NFL Draft? Who will the Panthers pick with that Number 1 selection?

Bonus
Details
Play
Bet365 Bonus Code
BONUS CODE:
BET247

Bet365 Review
Min deposit €5
Up to €100 in Bet Credits For New Customers at bet365
Min deposit €5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. The bonus code BET247 can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way.
Betfred Bonus
Betfred Bonus
WELCOME40
Betfred Bonus Review
Get €40 When You Bet €10

Deposit €10on Signup
Get €40
New players only
William Hill Sportsbook
William Hill
€30 in Free Bets
William Hill Review
Bet €10 get €30 in free bets
Credited as 2 x €15 bets
New Customers Only

What Do The Bookmakers Think?

A quick look at the latest odds from bet365 Sport in terms of who will be selected as number one in the draft is revealing.

Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud is now the new favourite, odds on at 2/7.

That is because he had a very impressive combine, especially in terms of passing, where he showed he could make all the throws and did so with exceptional accuracy and timing.

With Alabama’s top QB prospect Bryce Young sitting out the combine to prepare for his pro day, his odds tumbled out to 5/2.

However, Florida’s exceptional QB Anthony Richardson incredible Combine performance in the physical and speed drills, will have certainly caught the eye.

The Gators QB has seen his odds slashed down to 4/1 from 10/1 before the Combine.

Kentucky’s Will Levis is the other QB in consideration for that number 1 pick, but he is a 12/1 longer shot.

Examining The Trade

The trade between the Bears and Panthers had been discussed initially around the time of the NFL Combine, although nothing concrete was set in place at that time.

However, with Free Agency opening up on Monday, the Panthers top brass felt that it was the right time to instigate new talks.

The result of those talks was the following trade:

The Chicago Bears trades to the Carolina Panthers:

  • 2023 #1 Pick in the NFL Draft

The Carolina Panthers trades to the Chicago Bears:

  • WR DJ Moore
  • 2023 #9 Pick in the NFL Draft (1st Round)
  • 2023 #61 Pick in the NFL Draft (2nd Round)
  • 2024 First Round Draft Pick
  • 2025 Second Round Draft Pick

Many people feel that the Panthers have paid a high price to move up from 9th in the draft,

In offering two first rounders, two second rounders plus top WR star DJ Moore (who was a first round pick himself) the Bears have landed a fine haul.

In exchange, the Panthers now have the pick from any of the players in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Though there are reports that the Panthers could consider a trade down, if the right offer was made.

Is This A Good Or Bad Move By Chicago?

Looking at the trade, on the face of it, this looks like being a very shrewd move by Chicago.

However, it is not one without any downside.

The positives are that Chicago has picked up an extra second round pick this year, plus another in 2025.

While in 2024, the Bears will also have an additional first round pick.

Snagging WR DJ Moore is also a fantastic move for the Bears who needed to find receivers to help out QB Justin Fields.

They now boast a young and exciting offense comprising of:

  • QB Justin Fields (24)
  • RB Khalil Herbert (24)
  • WR: DJ Moore (25), Darnell Mooney (25), Chase Claypool (25)
  • TE: Cole Kmet (24)

Picking 9th this year may well also allow the Bears to draft an upgrade, perhaps to either of the offensive or defensive lines.

Or, the Bears could even look to trade down further from 9th to accrue more first round draft picks in future years.

What is clear, is that the Bears have made significant upgrades to their offense and have surrounded Justin Fields with some legitimate offensive weapons before Free Agency and the draft has even started.

In truth, what happens next for the Bears isn’t going to really be a huge concern.

They have enough Salary Cap space to make some significant moves in Free Agency to plug other areas of the team

This would include the offensive line, where the Bears could well be in the market for former Chiefs tackle Orlando Brown Jr.

This would then allow them to focus in the draft on signing some key defensive players, notably on the defensive line, to help improve that side of the team.

So, overall, this looks like a very shrewd move by Chicago.

Is The Trade A Shrewd Move By Carolina?

A fresh new wind is blowing through Carolina and it seems that this is a team that will have a new identity next season.

Having traded Christian McCaffrey and Robbie Anderson last season, the Panthers have let another star of their offense go in DJ Moore as part of this trade.

However, what this trade does mean for the Panthers is that they can land the quarterback that they want in this draft.

That is a major boost for new head coach Frank Reich who will get the QB he wants to model the future of this team.

However, there are issues for the Panthers that need to be addressed.

Carolina has around $22m in cap space, but they have pass rusher Brian Burns entering the final year of his contract and they have a huge need to bring in playmakers in other areas,

While their rushing game looks solid, they need help at wide receiver, plus there are several other areas of the team that need improving.

Whether they have the cap space to do that is questionable.

We do know they do not have the draft capital to make major moves in this year’s draft or perhaps even the next couple of years.

So the outlook for the Panthers is more complicated, but the one big plus point is that Frank Reich will get the QB he wants to build the team around.

The question is who he will select with that first round selection in April?