The Panthers take the top overall pick for two first-rounders, DJ Moore, other picks from the Bears in the 2023 NFL Draft

Four days ago, Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles called Here’s about trading the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft: “Nobody’s gonna hustle me. I know I can get a 24 [first-round pick] and a 25 [first-round pick]. You’re telling me I’ll have two in the next two years? That’s either four really good players, or if we’re in full swing we can still trade back.”

On Friday, the Poles and the Bears got what they were looking for from the Carolina Panthers, trading the No. 1 overall pick for a team that’s been desperate for its first answer as a quarterback since Cam Newton turned 2011’s NFL offense rookie of the Year, 2015 NFL MVP and three-time Pro Bowler. The Bears received the Panthers’ ninth overall pick (first round) and their second second-round pick (61st overall) in the 2023 draft, as well as a 2024 first-round pick, a 2025 second-round pick and 25-year-old wide receiver DJ Moore, according to CBS Sports NFL insider Jonathan Jones. Friday’s transaction marks the 13th time that the first overall pick in the joint draft era (since 1967) has traded either before, during or after the draft.

The Panthers will now make only their second all-time pick using the first overall pick, with Newton being the only player on their team to start the draft in 2011. New Panthers head coach Frank Reich had a different starting quarterback for five straight seasons in Week 1 with the Indianapolis Colts, and the Panthers have rotated in quarterbacks like Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Kyle Allen, Taylor Heinicke and PJ Walker. Both the franchise and its head coach can have their preferred choices of Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s CJ Stroud, Kentucky’s Will Levis, or Florida’s Anthony Richardson. The trade-up is long overdue as the Panthers quarterbacks have threw a total of 63 touchdowns to 71 interceptions over the past four seasons, the fewest passing touchdowns and most interceptions by quarterbacks room by any NFL team during that period. The Panthers are also the only team with more interceptions than passing touchdowns since 2018.

Panthers quarterbacks since 2018


Cam Newton (14), Taylor Heinicke (1), Kyle Allen (1)


Kyle Allen (12), Cam Newton (2), Will Grier (2)


Teddy Bridgewater (15), PJ Walker (1)


Sam Darnold (11), Cam Newton (5), PJ Walker (1)


Baker Mayfield (6), Sam Darnold (6), PJ Walker (5)

* 63 passing touchdowns and 71 combined interceptions (only team in the NFL with more INT than pass TD in span)

For the Bears, they’ve now secured a true #1 wide receiver for Justin Fields. Moore had 63 receptions, 888 yards and seven touchdowns in 2022. The 888 yards, the fewest since his rookie year in 2018, set a three-year 1,000-yard streak for Moore from 2019 to 2021, but his seven touchdowns was a career high.

His 63 catches were also his fewest since his rookie year, but both his receptions and receiving yards would have been the most with the Bears in 2022. Chicago’s passing game and Fields’ development as a passer took a significant shot in the arm with the addition of Moore. Other young quarterbacks like the Bills’ Josh Allen, the Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa, and the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts started after each team won star wideouts Stefon Diggs, Tyreek Hill, and AJ Brown.

The Bears now have four picks in the first 64 of the 2023 NFL Draft with picks nine, 53, 61 and 64. They will also have multiple first-round picks in 2024 and multiple second-round picks in 2025, a hopeful one Outlook for a team going through a complete rebuild.

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