Bettings
article featured image background
Article preview

Bears Trade First Overall Pick, Land DJ Moore

NFL Fantasy
Share

We have our first blockbuster trade of the 2023 NFL Draft season. The Carolina Panthers made a power move up the board to the No. 1 overall spot, sending the Chicago Bears the No. 9 overall pick and the No. 61 from this year’s draft along with their 2024 first-round pick and their 2025 second-round pick. But wait. There’s more. The Bears will also acquire wideout DJ Moore.

 

This one will get the juices flowing for sure. On the Panthers’ side of things, this move has its roots in David Tepper’s 2018 purchase of the team. Tepper has made it no secret that he covets having a great signal caller under center. Now he has a shot at one, but which player will the Panthers go with? Just a month ago, Bryce Young seemed to be the obvious No. 1 selection, but Anthony Richardson’s historically good performance at the NFL Scouting Combine has shaken up the board. As Daniel Jeremiah mentioned on a recent episode of his Move the Sticks podcast, there are some in NFL circles who believe Richardson is in play at No. 1 overall.

Regardless of which player the Panthers go with, he’ll step into a situation where he’ll likely have to start from the gate. Sam Darnold is heading into free agency, but he could be re-signed as a possible bridge option. Young likely won’t need a bridge, as his high football IQ could have him starting in Week 1, but Richardson will need time to develop. Darnold almost certainly won’t be able to buy them the time like we saw with Alex Smith in Kansas City for Patrick Mahomes’ rookie season. 

The No. 1 selection will also step into a depth chart that just lost its top receiver in Moore. Carolina currently boasts a starting trio of Terrace Marshall, Laviska Shenault and Shi Smith. While dynasty managers may argue there’s a lot of upside in this wide receiver corps, on paper it’s one of the thinnest groups in the league. We’ve seen how a lack of weapons can impact a developing young quarterback. Like, for example, Justin Fields.

<img src="https://d2y4ihze0bzr5g.cloudfront.net/source/2020/DJ_Moore.jpg" alt="

Speaking of Fields, can we get an “amen”? Fields finally gets a player capable of being a true No. 1 wideout in Moore. Before you @ me on Twitter, take a look at what Moore was able to do over the last four seasons in Carolina. During that span, only seven players have more receiving yards than Moore: Davante Adams, Stefon Diggs, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Cooper Kupp, Justin Jefferson and A.J. Brown. While Fields is still developing as a passer, getting Moore to go along with Darnell Mooney is exactly what the Bears needed to help him take that next step forward.

Chicago also retains a top-10 pick in next month’s draft as a result of this deal. While Jalen Carter and Will Anderson aren’t likely to be there at No. 9, the Bears will still have plenty of interesting options to pick. Texas Tech edge rusher Tyree Wilson could be in play, or they could go after corner with Oregon’s Christian Gonzalez or Devon Witherspoon out of Illinois should either still be on the board. Better yet, Chicago could further bolster things for Fields with an offensive lineman like Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski. 

 

Time will tell which team gets the better end of this deal, but the Bears get early kudos for leveraging their spot in the draft to stockpile some picks and get Fields some much-needed help. However, Carolina could still end up making out here if they land that coveted franchise quarterback with the pick.

Previous 2023 NFL Draft: Day 2 Wide Receiver Gems Next Ideal Landing Spots in Free Agency: Wide Receiver