CHICAGO — Minutes after the Chicago Bears suffered their worst 10th straight loss on Sunday, Houston Texans coach Lovie Smith was forced to make a decision in Indianapolis: Go for two and win over the Colts, which is the No. 1 in the draft pick would be to the Bears, or go for the tie.
Smith, who coached the Bears from 2004 to 2012, was aiming for the win, and Davis Mills and Jordan Akins linked in the transition as the Texans won the game. The Bears won the day with their first No. 1 overall pick since 1947.
“Whoever we get, hopefully it’s someone great,” said Bears safety Jaquan Brisker, who ended a strong rookie season with 10 tackles and one pass defended in the loss to the Minnesota Vikings. “It’s time to turn things around.
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“I really don’t want to be on the number 1 side, but since we’re here it’s time to improve the team, improve the organization and change this thing.”
A turbulent season in Chicago ended in a 3-14 record but with the promise of a big opportunity. With top picks and over $108 million in salary caps, no team seems better placed to make a big leap forward in 2023 than the Bears.
The Bears have one of the worst rosters in the NFL. Needs are everywhere, but the most pressing ones are along the defensive and offensive lines and at wide receivers. And it just so happens that defenders are considered among the best draft prospects.
When it looked like Houston would get the top pick, ESPN NFL draft analyst Jordan Reid had the Texans take Alabama QB Bryce Young and the Bears pick Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter for the 2nd pick. Reid had third to Alabama Outside Linebacker Will Anderson Jr (then to the Seattle Seahawks).
Carter and Anderson appear to be a perfect fit for a defense that recorded the fewest sacks per game (1.3) of any NFL team and pressured opposing quarterbacks with 20.9% of dropbacks, which ranked 31st.
“Whoever we are [get] needs to make an impact now,” said Brisker, who led the Bears with four sacks. Brisker is the second defenseman in league history to lead his team in sacks, further pointing out that Chicago took the D-line in the free agency and the design.
With the emergence of Justin Fields, who ended his sophomore season 64 yards behind the quarterback single-season rushing record, the Bears believe they’re in that position. That would give Chicago general manager Ryan Poles the leverage to trade the top pick to a quarterback-hungry team like Houston or Indianapolis (fourth-pick pick) and still get one of the elite defenders and a quality additional pick receive.
Poles have proven they are not afraid to dump trades after trading assets like Khalil Mack, Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith for draft capital.
Of course, Poles must carefully consider whether they can keep the election. While the Bears are happy with fields, the GM has no choice but to weigh the quarterback options available in the draft and decide whether it’s worth picking a quarterback and trading fields for a haul that comes in the form of multiple first-round picks might come .
The Poles’ first season with the Bears was all about the teardown. His second chapter is all about his skills as an appraiser and decision maker, which coach Matt Eberflus is optimistic about.
“High confidence, no question,” said Eberflus. “The most important thing for a HR manager is the ability to pick players, and he can do that.”
https://www.espn.com/blog/chicago-bears/post/_/id/4711786/will-the-bears-trade-the-no-1-pick-gm-ryan-poles-faces-major-decisions Will the Bears trade the top pick? Ryan Poles faces major decisions – Chicago Bears Blog