It was announced today that Lamar Jackson has formally asked for a trade. The interesting part here is that if traded, things could work out well for the Chicago Bears. You may be wondering, how so? Well, if you are like me and many other Chicago Bears fans, you would like to see Ryan Poles move down from nine on Draft Day in order to secure more draft capital. That draft capital could be for the 2023 season or even the 2024 season. I'd be excited with a second-round pick that is higher than 50, but I'd be happy with a 2024 second-rounder as well.
The emergence of a Lamar Jackson trade possibility means that the 2023 NFL Draft could fall exactly how the Chicago Bears need it to if Ryan Poles wants to leverage the greatest return for the ninth-overall pick. As it stands, at least three quarterbacks are projected to be selected within the top 10 picks in the draft. Some are even speculating that number could be four.
As it stood, the Bears would have to hope that at least one of those four fell to them at nine and that one of the teams below them, say the Titans, Commanders, Bucs, or even possibly the Texans, wanted to move up for a quarterback. If the Texans skip on a quarterback at two, they might look to move up from 12 to secure whoever they deem worthy of selecting with the lower of their two first-round picks.
Adding a Lamar Jackson trade into the mix could help the Chicago Bears
When we look at the order of the 2023 NFL Draft, we have to assume that the Carolina Panthers only moved up from nine to the top pick in the draft to select a quarterback. Let's assume it is one of Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud. I prefer Stroud and therefore will take him off the board. At two, the Texans are likely going to go with Bryce Young. I know I said they could wait at the position, but I think they get nervous and take Young, who might have the most upside in the draft. He, unfortunately, also has a high chance of becoming a bust.
That takes two quarterbacks off the board immediately. However, now let's throw Lamar Jackson into the mix. Rumors are that the Indianapolis Colts could be interested in trading for Jackson. If that happens, then the fourth-overall pick would now belong to the Ravens. The Ravens could select a quarterback at four, or they could move forward in 2023 with Tyler Huntley who they placed a restricted free agent tender on a few weeks ago.
It will depend on how the Ravens view Will Levis and Anthony Richardson, but it would not shock me if they went in a different direction than quarterback. Seattle and Detroit seem set at quarterback for 2023 with Geno Smith and Jared Goff. Neither are elite quarterbacks but had very impressive years in their team's systems last season. With the Raiders signing Jimmy Garoppolo, that leaves only the Atlanta Falcons ahead of the Bears as a QB-needy team.
It seems to me, the chances of a quarterback falling to nine have become better, even if only by a fraction of a percentage. Ryan Poles needs Will Levis or Anthony Richardson to fall to nine and he needs those teams picking in the teens to want to move up for one of them. Here is to hoping everything falls in our beloved Chicago Bears favor.