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On Friday, the Chicago Bears traded the No. 1 overall pick to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a multiple pick package that included wide receiver DJ Moore.
This move allows the Panthers to acquire a potential franchise quarterback - someone they have long sought after. But which quarterback will win out in the end remains unknown.
Carolina has been searching for a franchise quarterback ever since Cam Newton suffered shoulder issues early in 2015. The Panthers have tried several players at this position, such as Sam Darnold, PJ Walker and Baker Mayfield.
This year, the Panthers have an opportunity to secure their quarterback of the future after trading up to No. 1 and selecting their preferred QB in 2023.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Bears have exchanged their top pick for wide receiver DJ Moore multiple times, giving the Panthers their 9th and 61st overall selections this year, as well as a first-round pick in 2024 and second round pick in 2025. Chicago also gains significant draft capital through this deal; they recoup their second round pick from Chase Claypool's trade.
Although the Bears gained a great deal from this deal, they still need a player at receiver and running back. That is why WR DJ Moore was such an essential piece of this package; his combination of solid downfield playmaking ability and reliable speed make him ideal for this role.
Moore is not only a great receiving option, but a dynamic player with an electric motor and knack for making big plays. In five seasons in the NFL, he's had three 1,000-yard seasons - making him an invaluable asset to this team's offense.
Hopefully, the Bears can find a player at receiver to fill Moore's shoes and add one or two running backs in the draft as well. That would be an enormous victory for this team and one they can build upon for years to come.
This trade is beneficial to both teams, but the Panthers will emerge as the biggest beneficiaries. After fielding an unimpressive trio at quarterback in 2022, they finally get their man of the future in Alabama's Bryce Young, Ohio State's C.J. Stroud, Kentucky's Will Levis and Florida's Anthony Richardson - all considered top prospects by experts. It will be interesting to see which quarterback the Panthers ultimately select from these candidates: Alabama's Bryce Young, Ohio State's C.J. Stroud, Kentucky's Will Levis and Florida's Anthony Richardson all seen as top prospects by those involved with this trade.
A reliable wide receiver is essential for any team's quarterback, and the Chicago Bears are in desperate need of one to complement Justin Fields.
Thankfully, the Bears have found a perfect fit in DJ Moore. At 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, he already showed that he can make an impact on the field, scoring seven touchdowns last season and hauling in 63 passes for 888 yards. DJ Moore will be an invaluable addition to their receiving corps and could play an integral role in their future offense.
Fields' acquisition is a huge advantage, providing him with an elite wideout to throw to in 2022. The Bears have struggled to develop around their young QB, so this trade provides them with valuable assets as they begin rebuilding their roster.
Moore is a proven target with an impressive record of success, but he also has some serious weaknesses which must be addressed. Chief among them are his accuracy and consistency issues which have plagued him throughout his career.
That doesn't make him any less of a player, however. His solid frame allows for some impressive catches and tight window grabs with ease.
He's been an integral part of the Carolina Panthers' passing attack, scoring six touchdowns in 2022 and ranking fifth in receptions and yards per catch in the NFL. A versatile player, he will continue to contribute significantly to their passing game in 2023.
Fields' development isn't steady and he still has much to learn about the game. However, he has made some strides in his first two seasons and could potentially become a franchise quarterback with proper development.
Given the Bears' history with quarterbacking and Fields' potential, it makes more sense for them to stay with him instead of trading him. They'll receive a substantial amount of draft capital in return that can be used for strengthening the roster around Fields and giving him an improved chance at success.
On Friday night, the Chicago Bears made a major trade with the Carolina Panthers to acquire wide receiver DJ Moore and multiple draft picks. According to ESPN NFL analyst Adam Schefter, this gives the Bears additional future draft picks in exchange for this deal.
In exchange for their top overall selection, the Bears will receive a 2023 first-round pick and 61st-round pick in 2024. Furthermore, they will have access to both first round and second round selections in 2025.
By trading up in the first round, the Bears give themselves an exceptional chance to select a quarterback in this year's draft. There are numerous talented QB prospects such as Alabama's Bryce Young and Ohio State's C.J. Stroud who could become franchise quarterbacks if selected.
It appears likely that one or more of those QBs will remain at the top of the board, giving Chicago an opportunity to host a bidding war for their selection. They could even get a pick in the middle of the first round - which would be rare for teams who have traded up this far into a draft.
As for their other draft picks, the Bears currently hold nine selections in this year's draft, including two compensatory picks. Furthermore, they hold two sixth-round picks acquired through Khalil Mack's trade last March.
Fields is set to start for the Bears as their starting quarterback next season, providing them with an opportunity to further develop their offense around him. Already boasting the third-best passing offense in the league with Fields at the helm, there is room for improvement along the offensive line and in the receiver corps.
Fields had a good second season, but his stats are not nearly as impressive as they would have been had he had an improved offensive line and receiving corps. Improving those aspects will allow Fields to become an elite player in his third season in the NFL.
In the future, the Bears can address their draft needs with several premium picks in the 2023 draft. With so much talent at their disposal, they should be able to build a strong foundation for their NFL future.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Bears traded their first pick to the Carolina Panthers for wide receiver DJ Moore multiple picks. Additionally, Chicago received a 61st round pick in 2024 and another first-round pick in 2025, giving them even more draft capital as they attempt to rebuild around quarterback Justin Fields.
Moore is a reliable receiver who struggled in 2022 due to poor QB play in Carolina, but has since proven he can be an elite target. With good chances for success in this league and as Chicago's go-to receiver alongside Fields, Moore will make for an exciting combination.
At the top of their draft class, Moore was an essential piece for the Bears to secure. He's a versatile weapon who can play both deep and in the slot - particularly helpful since they were lacking depth at wideout last season with Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool both finishing with injuries.
Therefore, the Bears have a lot of building to do with their 2024 draft class. With the top pick in the draft, they could select several players whom they can develop as they expand their roster.
The Bears have several other draft options at different positions, so they can trade down and gain additional future picks. A move down to the fourth spot would give them a top offensive line prospect in a draft that's packed with defenders.
Additionally, the Bears could acquire a premier cornerback by trading down to the ninth pick. Players such as Georgia EDGE Nolan Smith, Florida EDGE O'Cyrus Torrence or Georgia OT Broderick Jones could be selected in this range.
The Bears should aim to add a dynamic runner to their offense in this draft. With so many talented running prospects available, they should be able to find someone who can run the ball and provide protection. They also need an experienced tackle or guard who is adept at moving in the zone - these types of linemen should be prioritized for the Bears since their rushing attack has been lacking in recent seasons.