Where will the Bears go after the Panthers trade?

Schrock’s mock draft 4.0: Where do the Bears go after the Panthers trade? originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Ryan Poles painted his masterpiece on Friday when he replaced choice no. 1 overall pick with the Carolina Panthers in exchange for the no. 9 overall, No. 61, a 2024 first-round pick, a 2025 second-round pick and star wide receiver DJ Moore.

The Bears’ big move leaves the draft picture unclear as several teams scramble to adjust their plans with the Panthers, who were set to take the quarterback No. 1 overall. Will the Houston Texans take a running back at No. 2 if the Panthers take the guy at the top of their board? Will the Colts be satisfied with the third best running back in the class? How do the Cardinals operate at No. 3? Who will take a swing at a sliding Jalen Carter?

We’ll have a few more of these before the Bears head to No. 9 on April 27th. Let’s call this “why the hell not?” edition:

1st round

1. Carolina Panthers: CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State
2. Houston Texans: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
3. Arizona Cardinals: Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama
4. Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

The market! The Raiders see the first three quarterbacks fly off the board and move up to secure their player of the future. The Raiders send the No. 7 overall pick and their third-round pick to the Seahawks to jump in for Will Levis.

5. Las Vegas Raiders: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
6. Detroit Lions: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
7. Seattle Seahawks: Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech
8. Atlanta Falcons: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
9. Chicago Bears: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

Yes, the Bears got a No. 1 wide receiver in Moore when they traded away from the Panthers for the No. 1 pick. But their wide receiver room still needs some work. Smith-Njigba is one of the few true blue-chip guys left on the board and already has a good relationship with Justin Fields. The Bears are taking a serious look at Paris Johnson, but end up filling out their receiving unit with Smith-Njigba.

At No. 9, the Bears could select three remaining blue-chip players in Smith-Njigba, Johnson and Bijan Robinson. It’s a tough choice and it will change between now and draft day.

10. Philadelphia Eagles: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
11. Tennessee Titans: Paris Johnson, OT, Ohio State
12. Houston Texans: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
13. New York Jets: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
14. New England Patriots: Peter Skoronski, OL, Northwestern
15. Green Bay Packers: Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa
16. Washington commanders: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma
18. Detroit Lions: Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
20. Seattle Seahawks: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson
21. Los Angeles Chargers: Jordan Addison, WR, USC
22. Baltimore Ravens: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia
23. Minnesota Vikings: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
24. Jacksonville Jaguars: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland
25. New York Giants: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
26. Dallas Cowboys: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
27. Buffalo Bills: Brian Branch, S, Alabama
28. Cincinnati Bengals: Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
29. New Orleans Saints: Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh
30. Philadelphia Eagles: Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Will McDonald IV, EDGE, Iowa State

The rest of the Bears’ 2023 draft:


No. 53 total (via Baltimore)

Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE, Kansas State

In the trade back to No. 9, the Bears decided to pass on Will Anderson and Tyree Wilson. Their marginal situation is still, and I’m being kind, a disaster. They’ll probably add that in free agency, but it won’t be enough. Anudike-Uzomah is a flexible edge rusher with a great array of passing and running moves. This is a big win for the Bears.

No. 61 overall (via Carolina from San Francisco)

Adetomiwa Adebawore, DL, Northwestern

The Bears have stepped up their offense, but they still need a lot of help on the defensive front. There are questions about Adebawore’s role in the NFL. Will he put on weight to play inside or can he consistently play on the edge? He played the entire defensive line at Northwestern and wowed scouts with his athleticism at the combine. Adebawore ran a 4.49 40-yard dash at 282 pounds while clocking a 1.61 in the 10-second split. He is an explosive athlete who can play inside on early downs and potentially kick outside in obvious passing situations.


Number 64 in total

Matthew Bergeron, OT, Syracuse

The Bears will get a good read on Bergeron from his time at the Senior Bowl. The 6-foot-5, 318-pound tackle has experience playing on both sides of the line. He has excellent athleticism and versatility, which will appeal to the Poles and the Bears. While some think Bergeron will eventually become a running back in the NFL, the Quebec native said there was no question he was a left tackle while he was available at the combine.


Number 103 in total

Eli Ricks, CB, Alabama

Ricks was one of the best cornerbacks in college football during his first season at LSU. After an injury-plagued sophomore season, he transferred to Alabama. Ricks was sensational when he was on the court for Tied. He allowed the lowest rate of cornerbacks in the FBS, per Pro Football Focus, and tied for second in yards allowed per coverage snap.

No. 133 total (via Philadelphia)

Roschon Johnson, RB, Texas

Many think Johnson could be one of the big players before the draft. Until that climb officially begins, I’ll include it here. Johnson is a tough runner with 45 percent of forced fumbles over the last two seasons. Johnson is an outstanding pass blocker with above-average ability to play as a receiver. He has strength, vision and poise. If he doesn’t pick up, the Bears should pounce on Texas as early as the 4th round.


number 136

DeMarvion Overshown, LB, Texas

The Bears have a big hole at WILL linebacker. Overshown is a converted safety who has compared his game to Shaq Leonard. While he needs some work in run defense, his coverage skills, instincts and athleticism should allow him to match up with tight ends and some slot receivers. If the Bears staff can help polish Overshown, he could end up being a steal in the draft.

no. 148 (via Baltimore)

Olu Oluwatimi, IOL, Michigan

Oluwatimi is a four-year starter with a high football IQ. He is a strong pass blocker best suited for a zone run scheme as it will allow him to move laterally in the run game. The Bears don’t have a long-term answer at center, and I like what Oluwatimi can bring to their offensive line room.

RELATED: Moore is essential to the Bears’ elimination of the Panthers for several reasons


number 218

Brenton Strange, TE, Penn State

At 6-foot-4, 253 pounds, Strange is an athletic tight end who could fly under the radar in a draft full of good tight ends. He is an athletic runner who is a good line and space blocker. He’ll need time to iron out some technique issues, but could end up as a plus starter that teams miss out on due to lackluster production in college.

no. 258 (compensatory)

Ali Gaye, EDGE, LSU

The 6-foot-6, 263-pound Gaye has the prototypical length and frame desired in an NFL edge rusher. The effort and traits are there, but Gaye needs work to become an effective rusher at the next level—a good, low-risk late-round bet.

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