Where the Chicago Bears stand in the latest 2023 NFL draft projections, through Week 15

Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles walks on the field prior a game between the Bears and Houston Texans, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Chicago.

The calendar has turned to December. The weeks remaining in the NFL season are dwindling. The Bears, thanks to a half dozen one-possession losses, have one of the worst records in the league.

It’s never too early to start thinking about next year.

For the Bears, there will be a lot of discussion about the draft over the coming months. This offseason will be all about finding help for quarterback Justin Fields. Who will general manager Ryan Poles target with that in mind?

The Bears have a good chance of landing a top draft pick. As the losses have mounted, their projected draft slot has continued to shoot up. Here’s where things stand entering Week 16.

Bears projected pick: No. 2 overall

In a game that featured two teams starting backup quarterbacks, the Broncos beat the Cardinals – which helped the Bears’ draft slot. The Bears are currently alone with the second overall pick. Because the Bears have the toughest strength of schedule in the NFL, they are not going to “win” any tiebreakers. A week ago, when Denver and Chicago had equal records, the Broncos were in the driver’s seat for the No. 2 pick.

Instead, Denver is “winning” the three-way tie among 4-10 teams in the Broncos, the Rams and the Cardinals. Two of those teams will square off this week.

Note: The Broncos’ traded their top pick to the Seahawks, and the Rams traded theirs to the Lions.

Here’s the projected top 10

Here’s what the top of the draft would look like if the season ended today. The team with the worst record is awarded the first pick, the second-worst record picks second, and so on down the line. If there is a tie, the team with the weaker strength of schedule is awarded the higher pick. Strength of schedule is determined by opponents’ combined records.

Projected draft order is according to

TeamRecordStrength of schedule
1. Texans1-12-1.504
2. Bears3-11.574
3. Broncos (traded to Seahawks)4-10.483
4. Rams (traded to Lions)4-10.500
5. Cardinals4-10.517
6. Colts4-9-1.508
7. Falcons5-9.447
8. Panthers5-9.452
9. Saints (traded to Eagles)5-9.496
10. Raiders6-8.454

What changed this week?

Besides the Broncos picking up a win, the Saints beat the Falcons, which hurts the Eagles because Philadelphia traded for New Orleans’ top pick. The Cardinals and Colts, losers of four straight games, have quickly pulled themselves into the conversation for a top five pick.

The Texans nearly upset the Chiefs, which would’ve been a shocking victory for the team with a firm handle on the No. 1 overall pick.

There’s currently a big group of 6-8 teams in spots No. 10 through 14. That includes the Raiders, Jaguars, Browns (pick belongs to Texans), Steelers and Packers.

What to watch this week

The Broncos and the Rams will square off on Christmas Day. Barring a tie, somebody will pick up a win. That should help the Bears. A tie actually would be OK for the Bears too.

The Texans continue to play better and have a winnable matchup with the 7-7 Titans this week. The 6-8 Raiders take on the 6-8 Steelers.

The Browns and Saints square off on Saturday with draft order implications, although neither team actually owns its first-round pick next year.

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for the Shaw Local News Network. He has covered the Bears since 2020. Prior to writing about the Bears, he covered high school sports for the Northwest Herald and contributed to Friday Night Drive. Sean joined Shaw Media in 2016.