The Chicago Bears have become the No.1 overall pick in the National Football League’s 2023 draft after the Houston Texans pulled off a wild, last-minute upset over Colts.
Bears in spite of the odds stacked against them became the first pick in the 2023 NFL draft. This team advanced to Week 18 even with their chances of securing the top pick being slim. They had to lose to the Minnesota Vikings and watch Houston Texans defeat Indianapolis Colts on the road.
That is how it all played out last Sunday. Chicago sans quarterback Justin Fields, lost 29-13 to the Vikings. While Houston’s quarterback Davis Mills rallied his team and threw for three touchdowns; including one with 50 seconds remaining, in a riveting 32-31 win over Indianapolis.
The word “riveting” doesn’t begin to describe the concluding minutes of the Texans VS Colts game. When Houston was down by 7, Mills spear-headed a 14-play drive that ended with a touchdown pass on 4th and 20 to cut the deficit to one point. That play signified the first time a team in the NFL converted on 4th and 20+ all season.
Rather than ending in a tie and moving into overtime, (the teams tied 20-20 in Week 1 in Houston), Lovie Smith the Texans’ head coach, chose to go for two. Mills found Jordan Akins in the end zone to put the Texans up by one point with 50 seconds to play.
Indianapolis Colts could not rally in the final minute, giving Houston Texans the upset win and knocking the Texans off the No.1 spot in the draft.
In other news, the Bears didn’t make things as exciting. They made their intentions of getting into Week 18 obvious in the days leading to their game with the Minnesota Vikings. Chicago sat fields on the bench due to his hip injury and started Nathan Peterman at quarterback.
Peterman lasted only a few drives before the Chicago Bears turned to back newcomer Tim Boyle. Peterman eventually returned to the game.
Chicago ended behind early in the game against Minnesota. And in spite of Peterman’s touchdown and Velus Jones Jr.’s rushing touchdown, the upset was not threatened.
The Houston Texans for their own game, made things intriguing the minute the match began. They pulled a fast 10-0 lead after scoring on their first two drives. The Colts managed a touchdown for 10-7, but quarterback Sam Ehlinger threw a pick-six in the second quarter to give the Texans another 10-point lead.
In the second half, the Colts dug their way back into the game and trailed by only 3 points before Mills threw an interception at the end of the third quarter. Colts mustered a touchdown and a field goal in the fourth quarter to get up by seven points, making Mills the hero.
Chicago Bears will pick first in the NFL draft for the first since 1947.
For the past 70 years, the Chicago Bears have not held the No.1 pick in the NFL draft in over 70 years. The team was the last top pick in the draft in 1947, when they chose Bob Fenimore, who played only one season in the NFL.
However, while the Bears presently hold the top pick in the draft, they might not keep this title. Alabama quarterback Bryce Young is eyed for the No.1 overall player on many draft boards and Chicago does not need a quarterback. Justin Fields has proven his electrifying play-making skills in his second season and might become a franchise player.
If that is what is on the Bears’ mind, then the team might entertain offers for the top pick in the April draft. Teams will probably part with multiple first-round picks to move up and select Chase Young. They have plenty of holes to plug, and acquiring multiple early-round picks will go a long way in rebuilding the team quickly.
Fields was not drafted by the current Bears management. If he cannot convince the team that he can be a star passer, it could draft Young and try trading Fields. Either way, the Bears will fish a lot of picks and still have a young, promising quarterback.
Chicago could keep their spot as the No.1 overall pick and choose a player who is not Chase Young. Some of the names at the top of mock drafts are Georgia Bulldogs defensive lineman Jalen Carter and Alabama pass rusher Will Anderson Jr. Given everything the Bears need and potential packages for Chase, this route will be a surprising one for them.
The Bears could use the extra draft picks they got in 2023, especially after forfeiting the No.32 overall selection in a midseason trade for Chase Claypool.
After the trade, Claypool played six games with Chicago. He intercepted 11 balls for 111 yards and no touchdowns. Claypool’s contract is valid throughout the 2023 season and the receiver is expected to play a huge role in the Bears’ offense next year.
As the No.2 pick, the Houston Texans are in quite an interesting position. They could trade up one spot to take Young or take the next available quarterback who is the No.2 pick.
If the Texans do not get Young and think they should wait until a quarterback later, they could trade down and get more picks. While Houston is assumed to take a quarterback early in the 2023 NFL draft, the team can address multiple needs if it trades down, although it might lose out on a potential franchise quarterback if this happens.
The Chicago Bears and Houston Texans have lots of work to do if they do not want to return to contention, especially after a horrible 2022 season. Texans should be next in line to pick a potential franchise quarterback in the 2023 NFL draft, although it may not be the best draw on the board.
Bears, on the other hand, have lots of options to choose from. They not only own the No.1 overall pick, but they have the most salary cap space available in the NFL too. These two factors should speed up their rebuild and get Justin Fields the help he needs.
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