With some buzz that the Chicago Bears could be looking to trade back even further in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft on April 27, a potential trade partner might also be readily available in the Tennessee Titans.
Late Run on QBs Could Benefit Chicago Bears
“The Bears shouldn’t be finished stockpiling picks just yet,” writes Alex Kay for Bleacher Report. “The Tennessee Titans could send a respectable offer Chicago’s way, coughing up a third-round selection—one the Bears could utilize to round out a woeful defense that needs plenty of help—to jump up two spots.
“That positioning would allow the Titans to catch a falling prospect, perhaps a quarterback like Anthony Richardson, on draft night.”
– 1st Rd Pick (No. 11, 2023)
– 3rd Rd Pick (No. 72, 2023)
– 1st Rd Pick (No. 9, 2023)
Richardson is a physical specimen quarterback from the University of Florida. He runs a 4.43 40-yard dash at 6-foot-4 and 244 pounds. He passed for over 2500 yards and 17 touchdowns in his final season down in Gainesville.
The dual-threat passer added over 650 yards and nine scores on the ground.
This is not a new line of thinking but it does fall in line with reports that the Titans have already given up on 2022 third-round pick Malik Willis, per NBC Sports’ Peter King, and are looking to deal.
Several Teams Eyeing Trades Up for QBs
“Can I give you the team that I have been told to keep an eye on that’s exploring this and looking into this?” Jeremiah said on the ‘Move The Sticks’ podcast on March 28. “Again, this is just people around the league who said do not sleep on Numero 11. The Tennessee Titans. The two teams to keep an eye on with the trade-ups were the Raiders and the Titans.”
Tennessee has been pegged as a team to watch for Richardson by Jeremiah’s NFL.com colleague, Charles Davis.
— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) April 26, 2023
Of course, Las Vegas and Chicago have done business together in the past. They cannot be ruled out after trading Derek Carr to the New Orleans Saints even if it was different regimes in charge of both operations last time.
“The Chicago Bears are one of the most promising young teams in the league. Their gamble on Justin Fields seems to have paid off, which gave them the luxury of collecting a slew of draft assets to drop down from the No. 1 overall spot in this draft,” Kay explains. “The team could trade down yet again, letting a rival team hungry to pounce on a particular prospect have their spot in exchange for some additional capital on Day 2.”
Again, that would seem to fit Tennessee if they are indeed looking into adding Richardson and can’t stomach the cost of moving up to No. 3 and could put Chicago in play.
Bears Could Capitalize on Titans’ QB Need, Trade Down
ESPN Draft analyst Todd McShay could also see Tennesee taking Richardson.
“Maybe they love (Florida’s) Anthony Richardson? Maybe they love Will Levis and one of those guys falls?” McShay said, per NFL.com’s Jim Wyatt. “Maybe it gets to pick 7, 8, or 9 and they can make an easy deal and move up a couple of spots and make sure Houston (who also has pick 12) doesn’t trade up ahead of them, or Washington (at 16) doesn’t trade up ahead of them, although I think they are comfortable with their situation for whatever reason. And then at 19, Tampa Bay. So, that will be interesting to see.”
McShay went on ESPN 1000 in Chicago on April 20 and explained that fear of what the Houston Texans may or may not do with the No. 2 overall pick could make Tennessee get antsy, spurring the move up.
.@McShay13 hints at why the Ryan Poles isn't done trading back.
— ESPN 1000 (@ESPN1000) April 20, 2023
Again, the more teams that get involved the better it could be for the Bears. They still have several significant holes to fill, most notably across the offensive and defensive lines.