Thank you, Lovie Smith.
Due to the Chicago Bears loss to the Minnesota Vikings and the Houston Texans win over the Indianapolis Colts, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 draft belongs to the Bears.
An absolutely heartstopping finish in Indy was nothing short of intervention from the football gods. After taking a 17-7 lead at halftime, the Texans seemed to take their foot off the gas completely. They found themselves down 31-24 with less than two minutes remaining, with the logical choice being to lose and secure the #1 pick. Lovie Smith had other plans. After a hail mary on 4th and long somehow found its way into tight end Jordan Akins’ hands, Smith dialed up a two-point conversion to go for the win. It was successful, and the Texans defense made a stop to win the game 32-31. Now the Bears are sitting pretty with the first pick.
This is the first No. 1 overall pick for the Bears since 1947, where they selected Bob Fenimore, who played a whopping 10 games before retiring; however, it’s extremely unlikely the Bears hold on to this pick. The possible haul the Bears can receive for the No. 1 overall pick was greatly improved by recent college football performances. The presumed number one talent in the draft, Alabama QB Bryce Young, had an absolute showing in the Sugar Bowl against Kansas State. He finished with a line of: 15/21, 321 YDS, 15.3 YPA, 5 TDS, 0 INT, 278.4 RTG
While the league knows the Bears won’t select Young, the Texans, now sitting at No. 2 overall, most likely will. This will cause a bidding war of epic proportions, with QB needy teams like the Seahawks, Colts, Raiders, and Panthers all sitting below the Texans. Teams will try to leap the Texans, the Texans can try and prevent that from happening by trading up, there’s just a plethora of ways this can go.
Even if the Bears trade down once, you can’t count out them trading again. Ohio State QB CJ Stroud is also a projected top five pick, and Kentucky QB Will Levis just has some scouts absolutely smitten. The potential number of current and future picks the Bears can get has me absolutely overjoyed — which is something I never say about this team anymore.
As stupid as it sounds, because of this result, this season has been a resounding success. Justin Fields successfully began to develop despite the poor weapons around him, the new coaching staff showed they can hang with other teams, rookies proved to be valuable starters, and we now have a #1 overall draft pick to play with. Not to mention the over $100 million dollars in cap space the Bears have to play with. For the first time in any of our lifetimes, the Bears have absolutely full control over the free agency market and draft market.
Transparency has been Ryan Poles’s thing since he got here, good or bad news. I have no doubt he will be very upfront about the direction he plans to take this team — and if the past is any indication, he’ll plan to build this squad through the draft. If the Bears can execute on this opportunity in front of them, they have the chance to complete a single season turnaround just like that. This an extremely exciting time to be a Bears fan.
The 2022 season wasn’t pretty — in fact it was extremely ugly. However, I have a good feeling we’ll be able to look back on this season and laugh. Something’s brewing here in Chicago. Enjoy the rest of the season folks — we’ll have our time soon enough.