3 Colts that could be included in a draft trade package with Bears for the No. 1 pick
By Brad Marr
The Indianapolis Colts could be looking to move up in the 2023 NFL draft. Here are three players that could possibly be traded to the Chicago Bears.
This offseason for the Indianapolis Colts is guaranteed to see a lot of moving parts from the front office down to the bottom of the roster. Some players have played their last downs in a Colts uniform, and some coaches have fulfilled their last game plans. As the search for a new head coach has already begun, the assessment of who the next QB will be still hasn’t been determined. Or has it? Bryce Young could possibly be the best quarterback in the draft, but his size could be a deterrent in his selection to Indy. Will Levis and CJ Stroud have been noted as the other top candidates for the Colts to draft.
General manager Chris Ballard is not holding back this year, claiming he’s ready to do whatever it takes to get a franchise quarterback. Trading up to the No. 1 spot with the Chicago Bears and former defensive coordinator of the Colts now Bears Head coach, Matt Eberflus is certainly in question as an option. The Colts currently have the fourth overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Following that, no. 35 in the second round and No. 79 (from Washington) in the third round. Picks in rounds 4-7 will surface once comp picks are determined, but Indy is slated for at least seven picks currently. All of those picks could possibly be used in packages to get the No. 1 pick from Chicago.
Determining what else or who to include in a trade package is the next step in the process to get things cooking. Pick compensation is one thing, but defensive players that excelled in an Eberflus scheme should be on the table more so than multiple picks or future picks. Analyzing the positions of need for the Chicago Bears is going to be key to which players get offered. Wide receivers, linebackers, defensive linemen, and cornerbacks. The Colts have some guys that can absolutely fill in at each position.
The following players are best fit to be included in a trade to move up in the 2023 Draft with the Bears, based on cap space, talent, and necessity on the current roster.
3. Colts could trade Ryan Kelly to Bears for No. 1 pick
Of all the players the Colts have to offer, Ryan Kelly makes the most sense, to me at least. The Bears’ offensive line situation is in shambles. Adding a three-time Pro Bowl center and 2016 first-round draft pick would be ideal in Chicago’s efforts to build around their potential franchise quarterback, Justin Fields. The Bears gave up 58 sacks in 2022 and they must do a better job of protecting Fields.
This move also allows the Colts to clear some cap in preparation for future extensions down the road. Moving Kelly would initiate a dead cap hit of $4.5 million, but would clear around $8 million according to Spotrac. With extensions for players like Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman Jr. looming, Indianapolis must create the necessary cap space however it can without sacrificing too much of its team.
Replacing a three-time Pro Bowl center is no easy feat, but whatever it takes is whatever it takes. Perhaps a Danny Pinter move to the full-time center job is possible, or a move like this opens the door for a free agent signing. Either way, Indianapolis must consider moving Kelly if it means getting the No. 1 pick.