2023 NFL Draft order: Bears land No. 1 overall pick, Texans to pick second in surprising Week 18

The Houston Texans finished the regular season with a 32-31 win against the the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. The victory in the regular season finale boosted the Texans’ win percentage enough to secure the first overall pick in this year’s draft for the Chicago Bears. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The Bears fell to 3-14 on the year with a loss to the Vikings on Sunday and will pick first in the 2023 NFL Draft.
  • The Texans will have a top five pick in the draft for the second straight season as they’ll make their first selection at No. 2. They picked third overall and selected cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. in the 2022 draft.

Current draft order

  1. Bears
  2. Texans
  3. Cardinals
  4. Colts
  5. Seahawks (via Broncos)
  6. Lions (via Rams)
  7. Raiders
  8. Falcons
  9. Panthers
  10. Eagles (via Saints)
  11. Titans
  12. Texans (via Browns)
  13. Jets
  14. Patriots

(Updated without Lions-Packers result)

The Athletic’s instant analysis:

Bears land No. 1 pick

In some ways, the Bears got what they wanted from the 2022 season. Justin Fields showed growth and had some electrifying moments. They got draft capital for two defensive players, Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn. And most importantly, they will have the No. 1 pick in the draft. But GM Ryan Poles probably would have preferred to see more positives from his rookie class, or to see any of his free-agent adds become a diamond in the rough. The resources are there in terms of cap space and draft picks, but the 2022 season didn’t produce enough foundational players to make this a quick turnaround. — Fishbain

What Chicago could do at the top

The Bears have needs up and down the roster. Offensive line, defensive line, cornerback, wide receiver, you name it. There is the unknown about Poles and what he thinks about Fields compared to the quarterbacks in this draft. The Bears did finish 32nd in the league in passing, but Fields didn’t have much to work with, and he became the best running quarterback in football.

The best thing for Poles to do is to bring in as many blue-chip players as possible, and that means trading down to a team that will give up a lot for Bryce Young or whoever is the top quarterback. Alabama’s Will Anderson and Georgia’s Jalen Carter would be good fits for what the Bears need up front on defense. If there’s a way they can move down a few spots and still get one of them, that’d be ideal. — Fishbain

Texans need a QB

It’s been clear for a while that Davis Mills is not the Texans’ long-term answer. Possessing the second overall pick puts the Texans in position to find a quarterback who is, even if some fans are be disappointed in Sunday’s outcome. The Bears might not be interested in drafting a quarterback, given they have Justin Fields, and if Chicago shops the top pick, last year’s Deshaun Watson trade with the Browns gives the Texans the necessary draft capital to move up a spot should they choose to do so. Of course, just losing on Sunday to lock in the No. 1 pick would’ve been simpler.

Given this is a franchise that could be on the verge of hiring a new head coach for the third in time three years, depending on what happens with Lovie Smith, it’d be wrong to assume the Texans will follow conventional thinking and take a quarterback with their first pick in the 2023 draft. But trading for or signing a stopgap veteran and punting the long-term quarterback question further into the future would mean risking apathy growing even deeper among a fanbase that, judging by the many empty seats at NRG Stadium this season, has already checked out in significant numbers. Should he hold onto his job, GM Nick Caserio will be entering Year 3 with perhaps his third coach, meaning it’ll be time to show real progress. — Reiss

(Photo: Daniel Bartel / USA Today)

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