Touchdown Wire

● By Doug Farrar
The Chicago Bears’ 16-13 win over the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night was a double victory for the Monsters of the Midway. Not only did they “up” their record to 3-7 on the season, but the first-round Panthers pick, owned by the Bears as part of the trade to select Bryce Young with the first pick in the 2023 NFL draft, is now the first overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft, because the Panthers are 1-8. That puts forth an interesting question for the Bears, and whoever’s in charge of their personnel in 2024, whether it’s current general manager Ryan Poles, or somebody else: Are they happy enough with the development of quarterback Justin Fields (when he’s healthy) to avoid taking one of the two rock star quarterbacks — USC’s Caleb Williams of North Carolina’s Drake Maye — with that first pick? Chicago also has its own fifth overall pick as a result of its own dismal record, so it’s either hold onto Fields and build around him, or punt to a new guy. In this mock draft, the Bears do show faith in Fields, giving him a possibly “generational” receiver in Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr. with the first pick, and a potential franchise edge-rusher in UCLA’s Laiatu Latu.

Top Players Not Included

These players appear in the top 32 of our

Consensus Big Board

, but do not show up in this mock.