In a surprising turn of events, the Chicago Bears ended up earning the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft thanks to a last-minute one-point win by the Houston Texans in Week 18. With a league-worst 3-14 record, the Bears are now on the clock to make the first selection.

However, nothing is settled in Chicago. With some of the top prospects being quarterbacks, the team might explore other possibilities. Justin Fields had a breakout season, becoming just the third quarterback in NFL history to rush for at least 1,000 yards. He joins Michael Vick in 2006 and Lamar Jackson in his MVP-winning 2019 season.

Because of that, there are many rumors about the Bears trading down. With the draft being in late April, the front office has plenty of time before making the final decision. Whether Chicago will make the pick or trade is an uncertainty, but for now, the organization needs to be prepared to find the best name available.

Considering they might keep this selection, here are three early names the Chicago Bears should consider with the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

3. Bryce Young – Alabama, QB

Even with the option to trade down, it is difficult to ignore selecting a Heisman winner with the top pick. Many consider Bryce Young the best prospect of the 2023 class, and he happens to be a quarterback.

In three seasons under Nick Saban at Alabama, Young won a national title as a backup in 2020 and led the team to another College Football Playoff National Championship the following year, only to lose to rival Georgia. With him as a starter, the Crimson Tide went 23-4.

In 2021, Young had his best individual collegiate season. In addition to the Heisman, he won the Maxwell, Davey O’Brien and Manning Awards. He also earned a consensus All-American selection.

In 34 total games, he completed 65.8% of his passes for 8,356 yards and 80 touchdowns against only 12 interceptions. He also added 162 rushing yards for seven scores.

If Chicago did not have Fields, Young would very likely be the No. 1 selection in the draft. But with Fields having a solid first season as a full-time starter, the Bears might not want to bring another quarterback to the mix. In that case, a trade would be an interesting option, so Young could very well might wind up going No. 1 anyway to another team.

Still, even with Fields, Young’s name should be on Chicago’s radar. The Crimson Tide star can be a franchise quarterback, and the Bears might regret passing on him.

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2. Will Anderson Jr. – Alabama, EDGE

If the Bears decide to not go for a quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft, Young’s teammate Will Anderson Jr. emerges as an option. The star pass rusher is a two-time unanimous All-American and two-time winner of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which is presented to the best defender in college regardless of position. He also earned back-to-back SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors

In three years at Alabama, he totaled 204 tackles with 114 being solo, four pass deflections, one forced fumble and a pick-6. Most notably, he recorded 34.5 sacks, leading the country with 17.5 in 2021. That same year, he also had a nation-best 34.5 tackles for loss.

The Bears could certainly use a player like Anderson after finishing with the fewest sacks in the NFL. The team also allowed 157.3 rushing yards per game, the second-worst mark in the league. Over the last two years, the EDGE registered 137 pressures, the most in FBS.

Anderson would immediately impact the team’s pass-rushing prowess and significantly make an impact as a rookie. He has been on Heisman Watch Lists and at the top of mock drafts since his sophomore year, so there is clearly something special about him.

1. Jalen Carter – Georgia, DT

Similar to Anderson, Jalen Carter could be the solution to Chicago’s defense. The defensive tackle was recently named a unanimous All-American and First-Team All-SEC member. Not only that, but he was a key member of the Georgia Bulldogs’ back-to-back national titles.

In his collegiate career, Carter registered 83 total tackles with 44 being solo. He also had four pass deflections, six sacks and two forced fumbles. With his help, the Bulldogs had the best rushing defense in the nation in 2022, allowing just 77.1 yards a contest even though they played 15 games, including two in the CFP. Their seven allowed scores on the ground also placed them in the top three.

Some see a bit of Warren Sapp and Aaron Donald in Carter’s game. Getting a Pro Football Hall of Famer and a future one should certainly be in Chicago’s mind.

However, Carter is not a pass rusher as good as Anderson, and the disparity of sacks between them shows it. Still, the Bulldog can become an anchor of Chicago’s defensive line. He can get by blockers in multiple ways, becoming a constant threat to any running back. At 6-foot-3 and 310 pounds, Carter is very athletic for his size. Combining it with his agility, speed and power, he could quickly become one of the most impactful defenders in the league in his first few years.

If the Bears decide to stay at No. 1, Carter should be in consideration for the selection. He helps one of the team’s biggest needs while also bringing some recent experience from the biggest stage in college football. Even if the Bears trade down, they should have him (as well as Anderson) on their radar in the 2023 NFL Draft.