Bears secure No. 1 overall pick in 2023 NFL Draft

    Bears secure No. 1 overall pick in 2023 NFL Draft

    For the first time in 76 years, the Chicago Bears hold the first overall pick in the NFL draft.

    The Texans had led the way to landing No. 1 overall for much of the season, sitting in the top spot since Week 10 while earning only one win and one tie in their first 14 games. But Houston upset the Tennessee Titans in Week 16, opening the door for Chicago to slide in.

    The Bears were 3-4 following their shocking blowout of the Patriots in prime time in Week 7 but finished the season with 10 straight losses (including six at home). Chicago beat the Texans at Soldier Field in Week 3 in a homecoming for coach Lovie Smith.

    Bears fans can now thank their former coach for helping their team land the No. 1 overall pick. The Bears have selected first overall twice before, picking Michigan legend Tom Harmon in 1941 and choosing Oklahoma A&M’s Bob Fenimore in 1947. Harmon never played a game for Chicago, and Fenimore played for one season.

    Bears GM Ryan Poles is hoping for better success with the top pick this time around. But will Chicago keep the selection or will a robust trade market materialize that leads to a deal?

    The Texans are one of several teams that could be in search of a quarterback early in the draft. Houston also owns first- and third-round picks from the Browns via the Deshaun Watson trade.

    The Bears have yet to publicly throw their complete support behind Justin Fields as the team’s 2023 starter, so they certainly could look at their own QB options in the top spot. However, Fields showed improvement as a passer this season and had one of the best rushing seasons ever by a quarterback, running for 1,143 yards and eight TDs in 15 games. Fields (hip) did not play in Week 18.

    If they choose to go in another direction — whether picking at No. 1 or trading down — there is no shortage of needs the Bears could address. They could try to upgrade the defense, but there also are needs on the offensive line and at wide receiver.

    Poles was the Kansas City Chiefs’ college scouting coordinator when the team selected Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher with the first overall pick in 2013.

    The 2023 NFL Draft will be held April 27-29 in Kansas City, Missouri.

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