Report: Bears 'leaning toward' trading No. 1 pick in upcoming NFL Draft

In an unsurprising development, it looks like the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft will be moved.

ESPN reported Monday morning that the Chicago Bears are “leaning toward” trading their No. 1 pick. The Bears went 3-14 last season but general manager Ryan Poles has been public with the franchise’s commitment to rebuilding with Justin Fields at quarterback.

The Bears have had four straight seasons without a winning record and need upgrades throughout the roster. With so many quarterback-hungry teams around the league, the Bears could receive a significant package in exchange for the top pick, allowing them to replenish the depth chart with young talent.

The Bears chose Fields with the 11th pick in the 2021 draft. Despite the team’s struggles, Fields has shown flashes of brilliance. In his first season as the team’s full-time starter, Fields threw for 2,242 yards, 17 touchdowns and 11 touchdowns while adding 1,143 yards and eight scores on the ground.

Poles said earlier this offseason that he would have to be “blown away” to draft a quarterback with the No. 1 pick.

NFL logo is seen on the goal post at Soldier Field before an NFL football game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)

The first pick in the draft has not been traded since 2016 when the Los Angeles Rams moved up from No. 15 to No. 1 to select Jared Goff. In a deal with the Tennessee Titans, the Rams traded their first-round pick, two second-round picks, a third-round pick, a future first and a future third. In addition to the top pick, the Rams also got back a fourth-rounder and a sixth-rounder in the deal.

The Bears will likely look for a similar return consisting of a bounty of draft picks.

The top quarterback prospects available in the upcoming draft include Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Kentucky’s Will Levis and Florida’s Anthony Richardson.

The NFL’s annual scouting combine begins later this week. Poles surely will be busy.