NFL Draft News & Analysis

2023 NFL Draft: How Chicago Bears trading No. 1 overall to Carolina Panthers affects the 1st round

Lake Forest, IL, USA; Chicago Bears-Head Coach Matt Eberflus (left) and new Bears General Manager Ryan Poles (right) pose for photos during a Press Conference Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

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:

  1. Carolina Panthers
  2. Houston Texans
  3. Arizona Cardinals
  4. Indianapolis Colts
  5. Seattle Seahawks
  6. Detroit Lions
  7. Las Vegas Raiders
  8. Atlanta Falcons
  9. Chicago Bears
  10. Philadelphia Eagles

Trade reaction

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.


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.

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. 

PFF's 2023 NFL Draft Guide is available for download to all PFF+ subscribers. Click here to download the guide today! 
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