The 2023 NFL Draft hot stove will reach blazing temperatures over the next few weeks. The NFL Combine kicks off on February 27, and informal meetings between NFL general managers and agents come with it. Free-agent rumors will fly, as will the draft stock of prospects who run fast and jump high.
As a result, the 2023 mock draft landscape will undergo a massive shift. Players projected as first-rounders now may not be in the top 32 in early March. The opposite is true, too. Prospects who usually appear in the second and even third rounds of mock drafts will elevate into the late-first-round discussion.
For the Chicago Bears, the NFL Combine won’t change much about their draft strategy. General manager Ryan Poles will still be expected to trade the No. 1 overall pick, even if Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr. or Georgia’s Jalen Carter steals the show. The best thing that could happen for the Bears is a great showing by this year’s quarterback prospects. It’ll enhance the value of the first pick and make quarterback-needy teams even more desperate to move up.
In the latest 2023 NFL Mock Draft by USA Today’s Luke Easterling, the Chicago Bears make a draft-day trade with one of those quarterback-starved teams, the Indianapolis Colts. They slide down to No. 4 and still land Jalen Carter, who many analysts believe is the best non-quarterback in the 2023 draft.
“This is an ideal scenario for the Bears, who get additional draft picks to move down a few spots and still end up with one of the prospects they could have happily taken at No. 1 overall,” Easterling wrote. “Carter is a disruptive force at the point of attack, and would make an immediate impact for a defensive front desperate for playmakers.”