- Chicago Bears trade first overall pick to the Carolina Panthers: Not only did the Bears receive two first-rounders, but they also got WR D.J. Moore in return for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
- Arizona Cardinals now in a prime spot: Quarterbacks are likely to go Nos. 1 and 2 in the draft, so the Cardinals now control the “cards” to the first round of the draft.
- Indianapolis Colts open to take Anthony Richardson?: This trade now paves the way for the talented Florida quarterback to land in Indianapolis.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
The first domino has fallen, and the Carolina Panthers are on the clock. The Friday afternoon news dump was anything but on March 10, as the top of the draft saw another major shakeup when the Panthers swapped spots with the Chicago Bears in a blockbuster trade, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
Official trade details
Chicago Bears receive
- Panthers' pick Nos. 9, 61, 2024 first-rounder, 2025 second-rounder and WR D.J. Moore.
Carolina Panthers receive
- Bears' pick No. 1.
That makes the top 10 order the following:
- Carolina Panthers
- Houston Texans
- Arizona Cardinals
- Indianapolis Colts
- Seattle Seahawks
- Detroit Lions
- Las Vegas Raiders
- Atlanta Falcons
- Chicago Bears
- Philadelphia Eagles
And with that, quarterbacks are essentially locked in at Nos. 1 and 2 overall. Who will they be? Well, we’ll have to wait for April 27th for the definitive answer to that, but if you watch this video of the Panthers new quarterbacks coach Josh McCown gush effusively over Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud’s tape against Georgia in the College Football Playoff semifinal, it may give you an inkling of where they might be leaning. Stroud is the No. 5 overall player on the PFF draft board and worthy of the “future franchise quarterback” label.
With the Texans likely to pick Bryce Young in that scenario — or at least a quarterback — that now makes the Cardinals at pick No. 3 the new crux of the draft. They have their choice of the top position player in the draft, or they can be a trade beacon for whoever wants to jump the quarterback-needy Colts.
Other teams rumored to be in the market for the No. 1 overall pick via trade — the Raiders, Falcons and Tennessee Titans — could all be looking to jump the Colts or risk getting left out in the cold for their preferred signal caller. Colts general manager Chris Ballard has prioritized toolsy prospects as heavily as any GM with a multi-year track record. More often than not, his top selections are also physical freaks — that quite squarely points an arrow at Florida’s Anthony Richardson, who’s a dynamic runner with a cannon for an arm.
Anthony Richardson's @GatorsFB highlights are electric ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/2eZ4zV598Y
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) February 24, 2023
Shane Steichen comes over after being the Philadelphia Eagles‘ offensive coordinator, where quarterback Jalen Hurts made massive strides as a passer during his tenure. Steichen also utilized Hurts in the run game more so than any other quarterback in the league. The Eagles registered 189 option or designed quarterback runs, the most in the league by 10, and that was even without Hurts in the lineup for the final two games. That quite squarely points an arrow at Richardson once again, as he had the single most impressive combine performance for a quarterback in NFL history.
Anthony Richardson shattered quarterback records at the #NFLCombine, earning a maximum athleticism score of 99 (pending official numbers).
QB Combine Ranks (since 2003):
???? 40-Yard Dash: 4.44 (2nd)
???? Broad Jump: 10'9" (1st)
???? Vertical Jump: 40.5" (1st)
Powered by @awscloud pic.twitter.com/fywNpmnZF6
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) March 4, 2023
If the Cardinals stay at No. 3, the likely pick is Alabama edge-rusher Will Anderson Jr. If they trade back, though, there’s a good chance we see four straight quarterbacks come off the board to start the draft for the first time in NFL history. April 27th can’t get here soon enough.