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How the No. 1 pick changes the Panthers’ QB strategy … and what’s next for the Bears

One of the pressing questions of the start of the NFL offseason was emphatically answered Friday, when the Chicago Bears dealt the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL draft to the Carolina Panthers for a package that included the wide receiver. dj mooretwo first-round picks (2023 and 2024) and two second-round picks (2023 and 2025).

The move marked the first time since 2016, when the Los Angeles Rams moved up to select the quarterback. jared goffthat the No. 1 pick was dealt before draft day.

The move resets draft strategy for both teams and could dramatically change the landscape for quarterback-hungry teams taking top-10 drafts. C.J. Stroud (-225) and former Alabama quarterback young bryce (+175), according to Caesars Sportsbook.

NFL reporters David Newton and Courtney Cronin offer details on what the mega-deal could mean for both Carolina and Chicago heading into the April 27-29 draft and beyond.

What does this deal mean for the Panthers?

This means Bryce Young from Alabama, CJ Stroud from Ohio State or Kentucky will levis will be Carolina’s starting quarterback sometime in 2023, maybe even Week 1. While Carolina hasn’t settled on one of the three at this time, according to a source with direct knowledge of the trade negotiations, it would be hard to sell. with the florida anthony richardsonwho is considered more of a project.

But having control of the first pick ensures that GM Scott Fitterer and coach Frank Reich will get their favorite quarterback to work with Reich’s staff, senior assistant Jim Caldwell and first-year quarterbacks coach Josh McCown.

The early favorites for the No. 1 are Young and Stroud, who seemed to impress the Carolina staff at the NFL combine the most, particularly Young.

“It’s like relaxing,” Fitterer said of the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner, whose only real drawback is size (5-foot-10, 204 pounds). “Nothing is too big for him.”

An operating quarterback on a rookie contract will give Carolina room to continue building the rest of the roster. A veteran like Jimmy Garoppolo either sam darnold He could also be added if the money is right, though there’s a chance the mid-level quarterback market could become too high for the Panthers’ liking.

The selection should also energize a fanbase that has grown weary with a mix of three-year-old retreads that includes teddy bridgewaterSam Darnold and mayfield baker. It gives the organization hope of having the player who can scale (and eventually surpass) similar heights to Cam Newton, the first pick in the 2011 draft who won NFL MVP honors in 2015 and led to Carolina to a Super Bowl.

Look for the Panthers to be active as a wide receiver in free agency, given Moore’s departure. A source with direct knowledge of the trade talks said the team was unhappy with the loss of Moore, but giving him up prevented Carolina from sending an additional first-round pick to the Bears. Carolina could also look to upgrade the tight end position to help their likely new quarterback. The Panthers haven’t had a true receiving tight end since Greg Olsen in 2019.

Simply put, this means the franchise quarterback owner David Tepper has wanted since he bought the team in 2018 is finally within his grasp.

–David Newton



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What does this deal mean for the Bears?

Handing out the best pick in the draft reaffirms Chicago’s belief in the quarterback justin fields, who doesn’t have to wonder if the Bears will take one of the bright QB prospects with the No. 1 pick. It backs up what second-year GM Ryan Poles has been saying all along, that Fields showed enough improvement in his second year to be considered a potential franchise quarterback.

And this trade allows the Poles and coach Matt Eberflus to improve the level of talent around Fields.

Wide Receiver Acquisition dj moore, who turns 26 on April 14, improves Chicago’s receiving corps. Moore, Carolina’s first-round pick in 2018 and the No. 24 pick overall, finished his time with the Panthers as the fourth leading receiver in franchise history. In six seasons, he totaled 5,201 yards on 364 receptions and scored 21 touchdowns. He had three 1,000-yard receiving seasons from 2019-2021 and recorded a career-high seven touchdowns last season.

Those numbers are better than the best wide receivers available in free agency, a group highlighted by New England’s Jakobi Meyers and kansas city JuJu Smith-Schuster. Adding a receiver in a year when depth in free agency and the draft aren’t great was a strong move, especially considering the Bears’ current WR pool. Darnell Mooney, Chase Claypool, Equanimous St. Brown and Velus Jones Jr..

Chicago now has four top-64 picks and 10 total draft picks. The Bears can still get a high-impact player with the ninth overall pick, but the likelihood of adding the best defensive prospect in the draft feels out of reach. Alabama running back Will Anderson didn’t edge out Arizona for No. 3 in ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay’s recent mock draft.

Bears may consider drafting Georgia defensive tackle jalen carter at No. 9 to fill a critical need with his inside pass, but the situation around Carter, who was recently voted the best player in the draft, is unclear after he was charged March 1 with reckless driving and racing in connection with a crash that killed a Georgia teammate and a member of the recruiting staff.

With needs up front on offense and defense, Chicago could look to Northwestern’s offensive tackle pedro skoronski. McShay had the Bears trade twice and take Skoronski with the No. 7 pick. If Skoronski makes it to No. 9, he could be another player to help Fields’ development.

Chicago has a sizable gap between No. 9 and its second-round pick at No. 53, which it acquired from Baltimore after trading linebacker. roquan smith last november. The Bears’ own second-round pick (No. 32) went to Pittsburgh in the Claypool trade.

Finding a way to make up for a 44-team gap could be the next challenge for the Poles.

–Courtney Cronin