Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay is having fun with the narrative around the 2023 NFL Draft.
The Chicago Bears currently hold the No. 1 overall pick, and it’s been presumed since they were crowned with the first selection that the Bears will trade down with a team that needs a quarterback. One of the first teams that comes to mind is the Colts, and Irsay added to the trade speculation Tuesday when he offered praise for Alabama’s Bryce Young.
He upped the ante Wednesday with this tweet:
Irsay has made it clear that landing a young quarterback is this offseason’s top priority for the Colts. They can take whichever 2023 NFL draft prospect falls to them at No. 4 overall, but it sounds like Irsay wants to control his destiny this April. And the only way he can do that is by swapping picks with the Chicago Bears.
A trade down to the fourth pick is ideal for Bears general manager Ryan Poles. It almost guarantees he’ll exit the first round with either Will Anderson Jr. or Jalen Carter and should bolster Chicago’s second-round arsenal (the Colts have No. 35 overall) and their 2024 NFL Draft outlook. Any trade out of the first pick is certain to include a first-round pick in 2024.
The wildcard in any trade back for the Bears is the Houston Texans. If the Colts trade up for Bryce Young, the Texans could decide to punt on a quarterback until their second first-rounder at No. 12 overall. If Houston takes Anderson or Carter, and the Arizona Cardinals take whichever one remains on the board at No. 3 overall, the Chicago Bears could be left holding the bag with the fourth pick.
That’s a good problem to have. No matter who the Bears select at No. 4 — or even lower in Round 1 if they do a second trade back — they’ll improve the roster. By adding additional picks this year and next, they’ll build a playoff contender. That’s the ultimate goal, and that’s what landing the No. 1 overall pick has put them in a position to do.