For the crowd hoping that the Chicago Bears take USC quarterback Caleb Williams with the top selection in the 2024 NFL Draft, Sunday should be considered a loss.
While the Bears did lose to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, the Carolina Panthers earned their first victory of the season as they defeated the Houston Texans. The Panthers’ defeat of the Texans on Sunday changed the projections for the 2024 NFL Draft.
With Sunday’s slate of NFL games completed, the Arizona Cardinals would hold the first overall selection of the 2024 NFL Draft if the season ended today. The Bears would have the next two selections in the NFL Draft as the Panthers’ first-round pick would be second in the draft with the Bears’ own first-round pick falling in at third. The New York Giants and New England Patriots round out the top-5 projected 2024 NFL Draft order.
The Chicago Bears are no longer projected to have the top two spots in the 2024 NFL Draft and that could impact their search for a quarterback.
The Cardinals having the first selection in the 2024 NFL Draft would be intriguing. Kyler Murray is expected to return from the ACL injury that ended his 2022-2023 season prematurely within the next couple of weeks and the messaging originating from Arizona is that the team believes in Murray for the long-term. However, there has been a trending sense that the Cardinals may be leaning toward being done with Murray.
In any event, the Cardinals having the first overall selection would not be great news for the Bears if they have their sights set on Williams. If the Cardinals are intent on keeping Murray as their franchise quarterback, then it would seem likely that the top overall pick could be available for the top bidder. Or, if the Cardinals are out on Murray, then they would have the first choice of Williams or University of North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye.
Regardless, the Bears’ path to their next franchise quarterback, if it’s not Fields, may require some maneuvering.