Bears Initially Wanted Star Defensive Players From The Panthers For The 1st Overall Pick

Brian Burns

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The Carolina Panthers have made the bold move of trading away one of their star receivers, D.J. Moore, and a collection of draft picks to acquire the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft from the Chicago Bears.

According to sources close to the negotiations, the Athletic reports that the Bears initially requested one of three standouts from the Panthers as part of the package for the top pick: Defensive End Brian Burns, Defensive Tackle Derrick Brown, or Wide Receiver D.J. Moore. However, after negotiations, the Panthers ultimately decided to send Moore and a handful of draft picks to Chicago for the coveted number one selection.

Burns is coming off a career high 12.5 sacks in 2022 and Brown has become a force on the inside with career high 67 tackles, 7 passes defended and an interception last season.

While the move is certainly a risky one for the Panthers, it is clear that they are targeting a specific player in this year’s draft. It is believed that the team is high on a number of quarterback prospects, including Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud.

Regardless of which prospect the Panthers are targeting, it is clear that they view the quarterback position as a key area of need. With veterans such as Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold struggled to find consistency for the team last season. Carolina is looking to bring in a young quarterback who can lead the team for years to come.

As for the Bears, the move to trade down in the draft is a calculated one. While they are giving up the opportunity to select a top-tier prospect at the top of the draft, they are acquiring a number of assets that they can use to build for the future. With a number of holes on their roster, the Bears are likely to use the draft picks they received from Carolina to address these areas of need.

It remains to be seen how the trade will ultimately play out for both teams, but it is clear that the Panthers are taking a major risk in their pursuit of a franchise quarterback. With the draft just weeks away, the football world will be watching to see which prospect the team ultimately selects with the first overall pick.