Surprise team now favored to trade up to No. 1 with Bears

All eyes will be on who acquires the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft from the Chicago Bears. There now appears to be a new odds-on favorite.

Prior to the start of the 2023 league year, there has been some news regarding quarterbacks. Derek Carr is the new starting quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. The Seattle Seahawks and New York Giants re-signed Geno Smith and Daniel Jones, respectively. With those options off the board, and likely Aaron Rodgers at some point, the best way to address a need at quarterback is to draft one.

There are four top quarterback prospects, and the Houston Texans are likely to take one at the No. 2 spot. So to leap them, a team would have to give the Chicago Bears a call to acquire the No. 1 pick. The Bears are reportedly open for business and appear serious about trading away the top pick for more draft capital. With there being multiple teams in need of a quarterback, fans are wondering who would make the leap up to the No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft.

According to Adam Burns of, the Carolina Panthers are the betting favorites to acquire the No. 1 overall pick from the Bears.

Panthers betting favorites to trade for No. 1 pick in 2023 NFL Draft with Bears

The Panthers were hindered by quarterback play since 2018, going from Cam Newton to Taylor Heinicke, Kyle Allen, Will Grier, Teddy Bridgewater, P.J. Walker, Baker Mayfield, and Sam Darnold. The Panthers, in need of a new head coach, hired Frank Reich, who is known for his work with quarterbacks throughout his career. Now, he has the No. 9 overall pick at his disposal, which would give them the last of the top four options available in Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson, or Will Levis.

The movement for quarterbacks could begin shortly after this past week’s NFL Scouting Combine. Richardson may have increased his stock drastically, as he ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash, recorded a 10-foot 9-inch broad jump, and had a 40.5-inch vertical jump. But, he will need some time to develop. Stroud, meanwhile, made a case to be the top quarterback taken with an impressive throwing session at the NFL Combine.

As for what the Bears are looking for, general manager Ryan Poles told NBC Sports’ Peter King that he knows he could get a 2024 first-rounder and a 2025 first-rounder.

“No one’s gonna rush me,” Poles said, h/t NBC Sports. “I know I can get a ’24 one and a ’25 one. You’re telling me for the next two years I’ll have two ones? That’s either four really good players, or if we’re cruising, we can still trade back.”

NFL fans are going to be waiting with bated breath to see who will be able to convince the Bears to give up their No. 1 pick. If it is the Panthers, they would get their pick as to which young quarterback will lead their franchise for the foreseeable future.

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