If you survey the average Chicago Bears fan, they’ll tell you that the team is having a decent season. This, despite being 3-7 and more than likely out of the 2022 NFL playoff race.
But the growth of quarterback Justin Fields has made those seven losses feel irrelevant. The Bears began the 2022 season in an obvious rebuild, and since the start of the season, the goal has always been Fields’ development.
Over the last month of the season, Fields has arguably been the most dynamic player in the NFL. He’s been so good that ESPN thinks he should be in the MVP discussion.
It’s a remarkable development for a team that’s lost six of their last seven games.
As the 2022 season sprints toward its close, the focus for the Bears will slowly shift to an offseason plan. It’s one that will center around Justin Fields; it’s imperative that GM Ryan Poles strengthens the offensive line and continues adding playmakers as he did with the trade for WR Chase Claypool.
The Bears will have the most money to spend in free agency, which Poles is likely to use on established veterans who can quickly fill holes on defense. But the best way to build a sustained winner is through the NFL Draft, and Chicago is quietly losing their way into a premium pick.
According to The Athletic, the Bears have the second-best odds at landing the No. 1 overall pick.
The Athletic’s model “phases out older data and uses data from this year as the season progresses. The simulation then runs 100,000 times after each day of games to give us, in this case, our No. 1 pick odds and each team’s likeliest draft landing spot.”
It’s still a long shot, however. The Houston Texans have the best odds, with a 67.8% chance at the premier pick. The Bears are next at 7.8%.
Still, at this rate, there’s a legitimate chance the Chicago Bears can be at or near the top of the first round of the NFL Draft during a critical offseason.
Sure, wins are great. But they don’t happen without a franchise quarterback and a solid roster around him. The Bears have one of those boxes checked with Justin Fields. The 2023 NFL Draft, and a premium pick in the first round, will go a long way toward restoring contender status in Chicago.