If the 2023-24 NFL season were to end today, the Chicago Bears would own the top two picks of the 2024 draft. Though one should expect the draft order to fluctuate as the season progresses, the possibility of one team owning the top two picks in the same draft poses an interesting thought experiment. What would the Bears ultimately do if they had the top two picks in the NFL draft?
Chicago Bears 2024 Draft Picks
- No. 1 overall (via Carolina)
- No. 2 overall
Given current NFL standings, the Bears would get both of the top picks since they acquired the Panthers’ first-round pick after Carolina traded up to draft Bryce Young No. 1 overall.
In the trade, the Bears got the Panthers ninth overall pick in 2023, which they traded back again before selecting offensive tackle Darnell Wright 10th overall. They also get the Panthers’ 2024 first-round pick, a 2025 second-round pick, and D.J. Moore. The trade for D.J. Moore has already paid off as the wide receiver has gone off the past two games, including a 230-yard, three touchdown receiving game which brought the Bears their first win of the year.
Assuming the Panthers continue on this trajectory and the Bears get back the top overall pick, it will pay huge dividends for Chicago and make this one of the most lopsided trades unless Bryce Young improves. It will also be historic and only the second time in history among the four major American professional sports that one team had the top two picks in a draft.
The only other time this occurred was in 1992 when the Indianapolis Colts selected defensive lineman Steve Emtman No. 1 overall and linebacker Quintin Coryatt No. 2 overall. More recently we’ve seen several teams with top picks in the first five picks of the draft, including this year when the Houston Texans selected C.J. Stroud second overall and Will Anderson Jr. third overall. Still, to have both the first and second selections is a true rarity.
Would the Bears Draft Caleb Williams
So what will the Bears do if they end up with the top two picks or two high picks? Prior to weeks four and five, many would have presumed that Chicago would draft Heisman trophy winner Caleb Williams out of USC. While that very well may still be the case, this narrative has somewhat shifted now that Fields has shown more promise over the last couple weeks.
Fields has had two consecutive games with a stellar passer rating of at least 125. In the Bears loss to the Denver Broncos, Fields completed 80% of his passes for 335 yards and four touchdowns. He followed this up with another four-touchdown game over the Washington Commanders, but Fields also got something better than touchdowns — a win. The rest of the season still has to play out before any concrete decision is made, but if the third-year quarterback continues playing like this, the Bears may pass on Williams.
In the scenario the Bears aren’t in the quarterback market, it’s more than likely they’ll trade back with at least one of the picks to acquire more. However, if they do pick early they’ll have their choice at the top prospects in the class. This includes Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. The Buckeyes prospect is touted by many to be one of the best receivers coming out in years if not decades.
Alternatively, the Bears could look to fix some of their other roster issues, particularly on the offensive line. Though Chicago drafted Darnell Wright, they still need to patch up the line more after Fields was tied for the most sacked QB in 2022. After Week 4, he was the third most sacked quarterback, only behind Sam Howell and Daniel Jones. If the Bears want to protect Fields, they could look to draft Penn State offensive tackle Olumuyiwa Fashanu to fill a need there.
Overall, all of these scenarios depend on if the Bears and Panthers can continue to lose more than the rest of the NFL. Even if the Bears don’t end up with the top two picks in the 2024 NFL draft, they should still have two high first-round picks in what looks to be a loaded 2024 class.