Bears helmet Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears are already looking like one of the big winners in the 2023 NFL Draft — and that’s before the selections even begin.

The Bears own the No. 1 pick in the draft, but according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, a number of teams are more willing than ever to make a trade with the Bears to land that No. 1 pick.

Of course, it’s been widely expected for months that the Bears would deal that pick. What changed this weekend was the showing of some of the quarterbacks at the NFL Scouting Combine. Anthony Richardson had the most athletic showing of a quarterback in combine history, while C.J. Stroud was on target with his throws.

“The interest in (general manager) Ryan Poles’ No. 1 pick for the Chicago Bears is significant,” Rapoport said. “The quarterback performances we saw (Saturday at the combine) only bolstered that. … Bryce Young, certainly everyone knows what kind of player he is, C.J. Stroud with a tremendous throwing day, Anthony Richardson, Will Levis — there’s a lot of interest in some high-profile quarterbacks, more so than we’ve seen in previous years.

“So you do have teams scrambling to get up to No. 1, and I would expect those to really heat up over the next couple of weeks here. Ryan Poles is going to have options and it seems I would say he more likely than not ends up dealing that No. 1 pick and has a chance to really set the foundation for the Chicago Bears as they rebuild everything.”

Rapoport also reported there’s “momentum” that a trade could happen before NFL free agency begins March 15.

There are several quarterback-hungry teams eyeing a quarterback in this year’s talented class. Among the most commonly mentioned teams are the Indianapolis Colts, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Las Vegas Raiders and Seattle Seahawks.

What would it take to trade up for the No. 1 pick? Part of that equation depends on where the trading team’s draft picks fall, but here’s a relatively recent comparison: In 2016, the Rams traded the No. 15 overall pick, two 2016 second-round picks, a 2016 third-round pick, a 2017 first-round pick, and a 2017 third-round pick for the No. 1 pick that year, along with a fourth- and a sixth-round pick in 2016. The Rams selected Jared Goff No. 1 overall.

Bottom line: The Bears have a chance to earn a valuable haul here. And Saturday’s combine performances only increased the value of that No. 1 pick they’re looking to deal.

[Ian Rapoport]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.