In the history of the NFL, the No. 1 overall draft pick has been traded just five times.
Among the most notable were the then-St. Louis Rams moving up from No. 6 to select future Hall of Fame offensive tackle Orlando Pace in 1997; the Atlanta Falcons jumping from No. 5 to grab game-breaking dual threat Michael Vick in 2001; and the Rams catapulting all the way from No. 15 to snag the solid yet unsexy Jared Goff in 2016.
The 1997 New York Jets were the only team to ever trade back from No. 1 twice in the same draft, moving back from one to six and then from six to eight, where they selected Pittsburgh Steelers great James Farrior. The Chicago Bears become the second team to do it in my latest mock draft.
While perhaps far-fetched, this would be the best-case scenario for the Bears. First, the Houston Texans, fearing the divisional rival Indianapolis Colts will jump ahead of them for a quarterback, eliminate that possibility by swapping picks with the Bears and getting their choice at the game's most important position. But the Colts still badly need a signal-caller, and with the Carolina Panthers and Las Vegas Raiders lurking, they work out a deal with Chicago for the No. 2 slot.
Here's what the trade compensation for those deals could look like:
- Texans get: No. 1
- Bears get: No. 2, 2023 second-rounder (33) and fourth-rounder (101), 2024 second-rounder
- Colts get: No. 2
- Bears get: No. 4, 2023 third-rounder (79) and fourth-rounder (103), 2024 second-rounder
In moving back just three spots, the Bears would pick up picks 33, 79, 101 and 103 this year and have two extra second-round picks next year. AND, they would still be able to draft either Will Anderson Jr. or Jalen Carter -- widely regarded as the two best defensive prospects in this draft class. General manager Ryan Poles would be ecstatic with this haul as the franchise looks to build around Justin Fields and remake the defense after trading away two of its best players in 2022.
Elsewhere, the Panthers also move up to select a quarterback, the Baltimore Ravens draft Lamar Jackson's eventual replacement, and more.
One more note: There will only be 31 first-round picks this year because the Dolphins were stripped of their selection due to tampering.
Now let's get started!
For more extensive draft content, check out our latest prospect rankings and mock drafts, as well as our new weekly podcast, "With the First Pick," featuring former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. (Check out the latest episode below.)
Mock Trade from Chicago Bears
Round 1 - Pick 1
Bryce Young QB
Alabama • 5'10" / 204 lbs
In this mock, the Texans trade up to get their guy. And that guy is Bryce Young, whose poise, vision and accuracy outweigh his historically small stature (relative to successful NFL quarterbacks). Some teams may be scared away by Young's lack of size, but his skillset is first-overall-pick worthy. A nice start to new head coach DeMeco Ryans' tenure in Houston.
Mock Trade from Chicago Bears
Round 1 - Pick 2
Will Levis QB
Kentucky • 6'4" / 229 lbs
The Colts need a franchise quarterback in the worst way, and they'll fall in love with Will Levis' traits. Despite a frustrating season due to a porous offensive line, lackluster skill players and him being banged up, Levis has the skill set to to become a really good NFL quarterback.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Will Anderson Jr. EDGE
Alabama • 6'4" / 243 lbs
It wouldn't matter if the new general manager was Monti Ossenfort (which it is) or a random Cardinals fan. The point remains that getting Will Anderson Jr. at No. 3 is a steal. He'll immediately upgrade a defense that lost future Hall of Famer J.J. Watt to retirement.
Mock Trade from Indianapolis Colts
Round 1 - Pick 4
Jalen Carter DL
Georgia • 6'3" / 314 lbs
Equipped with a plethora of draft capital from trading back, the Bears also add a defensive force in Jalen Carter, who might have been the best player on Georgia's historically great defense in 2021. (And that unit had five first-round picks!)
Mock Trade from Seattle Seahawks
Round 1 - Pick 5
C.J. Stroud QB
Ohio State • 6'3" / 218 lbs
With the two best defensive prospects off the board and Geno Smith set to remain the starting QB, the Seahawks trade back with the QB-needy Panthers. In drafting C.J. Stroud, Carolina provides new head coach Frank Reich with the young QB he never had in Indianapolis.
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 6
Myles Murphy DL
Clemson • 6'5" / 275 lbs
The Lions have a bigger need in the secondary than along the defensive front, so if they fall in love with a cornerback throughout the draft process, that could be the pick here. For now, though, Detroit snags perhaps the best prospect available in Myles Murphy. His physical traits and versatility will pair will with 2022 No. 2 pick Aidan Hutchinson.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Ohio State • 6'6" / 310 lbs
With the Raiders exploring trade options for Derek Carr -- and releasing him if none come to fruition -- a new QB will be under center in Las Vegas in 2023. My guess is it's a veteran, since the Raiders have the offensive skill players to compete in the AFC. With that in mind, Las Vegas adds protection for its future signal-caller in the form of Paris Johnson Jr., who was dominant at left tackle for the Buckeyes this season after moving over from right guard.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Tyree Wilson EDGE
Texas Tech • 6'6" / 271 lbs
The Falcons ranked last in the NFL in sack percentage in 2022 (3.61%), which was actually better than their performance in 2021 (3.03%). Simply put, they need an alpha edge rusher to make plays in the backfield. Tyree Wilson, who racked up a combined 27.5 tackles for loss and 14 sacks the past two seasons at Texas Tech, can be that player.
Mock Trade from Carolina Panthers
Round 1 - Pick 9
USC • 6'0" / 175 lbs
Unfortunately for the Seahawks, trading down was unkind to them with edge rushers Myles Murphy and Tyree Wilson being off the board. Instead, they go wide receiver at No. 9, which may be a bit rich for the position, but Jordan Addison will be a strong No. 3 for Geno Smith in the short term with Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf.
From New Orleans Saints
Round 1 - Pick 10
Penn State • 6'2" / 194 lbs
With James Bradberry set to become a free agent, the Eagles will likely be looking for a younger, cheaper alternative. They find it with Joey Porter Jr., a long cornerback with NFL pedigree.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Northwestern • 6'4" / 313 lbs
The Titans need help across the offensive front, and Peter Skoronski, CBSSports.com's top-rated offensive lineman, has the ability to play anywhere. He'll be solid wherever he lines up in Tennessee.
From Cleveland Browns
Round 1 - Pick 12
TCU • 6'4" / 215 lbs
Pairing Quentin Johnston, potentially the No. 1 wide receiver in this class, with Bryce Young would immediately provide this offense with some firepower, especially with running back Dameon Pierce coming off an impressive rookie campaign. Not only would opposing defensive backs have to keep up with Johnston, but they'd have to deal with his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame with the ball in the air.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Georgia • 6'5" / 311 lbs
General manager Joe Douglas had done an admirable job investing resources in the offensive line, but do to mostly injuries and some underperformance, it's still a big position of need. Broderick Jones has the frame and the athletic skillset to adequately protect whichever veteran QB is under center in 2023.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Illinois • 6'0" / 180 lbs
The Patriots drafted two defensive backs last year -- Marcus Jones in the third round and Jack Jones in the fourth -- and both performed well as rookies. Still, New England could really use a lockdown corner to deal with the high-flying Bills and Dolphins offenses within its division. Witherspoon, coming from one of the best defenses in all of college football, has the fundamentals, physicality and instincts to thrive in Bill Belichick's secondary.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Notre Dame • 6'4" / 265 lbs
Aaron Rodgers, Jordan Love, doesn't matter. Whoever is under center for Green Bay in 2023 would benefit from Michael Mayer's blocking prowess, reliable hands and ability to get open in the biggest of moments. He'd be an immediate upgrade over impending free agent Robert Tonyan.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Oregon • 6'2" / 201 lbs
Reports out of Mobile, Alabama, are that general manager Martin Mayhew has been looking a lot at the offensive linemen during Senior Bowl practices. However, with some of the top prospects at that position already gone and only two cornerbacks off the board, the Commanders boost their defense with Christian Gonzalez, whose playmaking ability at Oregon will give Washington another ball hawk in the secondary.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Bryan Bresee DL
Clemson • 6'5" / 305 lbs
The No. 1 high school player in the country a few years ago didn't have his best season in 2022, but the Clemson product still has everything you want in a formidable interior disruptor. With Larry Ogunjobi and Chris Wormley set to become free agents and Cam Heyward entering his 13th season, having Bryan Bresee will ensure the Steelers continue to have a fearsome defensive front.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Cam Smith CB
South Carolina • 6'0" / 188 lbs
The Lions defense played much better the second half of the season, but it still needs more upgrades if it's going to become a consistent contender in the NFC North. Cam Smith could develop into a shutdown corner that Detroit lacks, as his length and instincts will translate well to the next level.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Drew Sanders LB
Arkansas • 6'5" / 234 lbs
A quiet two seasons at Alabama from Drew Sanders gave way to a first-team All-American campaign with the Razorbacks. Lining up all over the field, Sanders stuffed the stat sheet with 103 tackles (13.5 for a loss), 9.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception. With 33-year-old stat stuffer Lavonte David set to hit free agency, Sanders would be a logical replacement.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Lukas Van Ness EDGE
Iowa • 6'5" / 275 lbs
The Seahawks need to beef up their defensive front, and the best prospect available at this point may be Lukas Van Ness. He has the versatility to play inside or outside and the explosiveness to make plays as a run stopper and pass-rusher.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Georgia • 6'7" / 265 lbs
It's always ideal to surround Justin Herbert with as many weapons as possible, and with Darnell Washington, you get that PLUS being able to open up holes for Austin Ekeler in the running game.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Florida • 6'4" / 232 lbs
The Ravens have been steadfast in their desire to keep Lamar Jackson. But does Jackson want to stay? In this scenario, Baltimore uses the franchise tag while drafting his eventual replacement in Anthony Richardson. They're similar players, and who better for Richardson to learn from than one of the best running quarterbacks in NFL history?
Round 1 - Pick 23
Kelee Ringo CB
Georgia • 6'2" / 207 lbs
The Vikings must address their pass defense that was second-worst in the NFL in 2022, especially with veteran Patrick Peterson set to become a free agent. Kelee Ringo's size, length and speed overshadow his lackluster interception total (four the past two seasons), although he did combined for 15 pass breakups in that span. He has the traits to end up as the best cornerback in this class.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Siaki Ika DL
Baylor • 6'4" / 358 lbs
Several Jaguars defensive linemen are set to become free agents in 2023. They have to play Jonathan Taylor, Derrick Henry and Dameon Pierce twice per season. Need I say more?
Round 1 - Pick 25
Ohio State • 6'1" / 200 lbs
It's looking more and more like the Giants and Daniel Jones are going to agree to some sort of extension. To truly know if he's the franchise quarterback, they have to surround him with high-caliber skill players. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who may have been the No. 1 wide receiver prospect if he didn't get hurt, fits the bill.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Jalin Hyatt WR
Tennessee • 6'0" / 185 lbs
The Cowboys have made some head-scratching moves in the wide receiver department. First they shipped four-time Pro Bowler Amari Cooper to the Browns ... for a fifth-round pick and a swap of sixth-rounders. Then they gave a lucrative extension to Michael Gallup despite the moderately productive receiver coming off a torn ACL. The bottom line is that CeeDee Lamb needs an explosive running mate, and Jalin Hyatt, who ranked top 15 in the nation in yards per reception (18.91), can be that player.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Alabama • 6'0" / 190 lbs
Jordan Poyer will be 32 by the start of next season, so if the Bills wanted to let him walk in free agency, Brian Branch would be a viable replacement. Not the most heralded on the Alabama defense, Branch did a little bit of everything for the Crimson Tide.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Texas • 5'11" / 215 lbs
It's unclear what's going to happen with Joe Mixon after being charged with aggravated menacing (although the charges have been dropped), and backup RB Samaje Perine is set to be a free agent. The rich get richer with the high-octane Bengals offense adding Bijan Robinson, the best running back prospect since Saquon Barkley.
From Denver Broncos
Round 1 - Pick 29
Florida • 6'5" / 347 lbs
Welcome to the first round, Saints. With their pick from trading Sean Payton to the Broncos, you get the best pure interior offensive lineman in O'Cyrus Torrence. Torrence was a standout at Florida after transferring from Louisiana, and there's good reason to believe he'll continue to improve at the NFL level.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Texas A&M • 6'3" / 195 lbs
The Chiefs defense has held up this season with a lot of rookies, but it still needs upgrades. Antonio Johnson is a downhill bruiser who can also cover, be it as the deep safety or in the slot.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Jahmyr Gibbs RB
Alabama • 5'9" / 199 lbs
This would be a slam dunk for the Eagles. Let Miles Sanders walk in free agency and replace him with the do-it-all running back that is Jahmyr Gibbs.