10 questions on the No

There’s simply another week to the 2022 NFL season, and two teams are still in the running for the No. 1 overall choice in the 2023 draft. Will it be the Houston Texans (2-13-1) or Chicago Bears (3-13) when the dust settles Sunday? And which leading prospect may each group target as the first player off the board?After a down year for quarterback prospects– there was just one selected in the very first two rounds last April– there are at least three who might go initially off the board this year. And beyond the signal-callers, there are several elite defenders who can stake a claim to being the very best general possibility in the class and potentially be the very first player taken.We pitched 10 questions to NFL draft analyst Jordan Reid, Texans reporter DJ Bien-Aime, Bears press reporter Courtney Cronin and analytics writer Seth Walder to arrange through how it could all play out April 27, including what to learn about the race for No. 1 and which potential customers might be the leading selection. Make certain to have a look at Reid’s brand-new Round 1 mock draft to see his forecasted choices for both teams. Let’s dig in. Are the Texans or Bears more likely to declare the leading pick?Walder: The Texans. Houston having a somewhat even worse record entering into the final week is a substantial benefit, but the

race is closer than you might believe since it plays the Colts. ESPN’s Football Power Index(FPI)is more confident in the Texans winning in Week 18( 66.7% )than it has been heading into any other Houston game this season. As a result, FPI makes it a narrow favorite– 55.7%to Chicago’s 44.3%– to earn the leading pick.Houston can clinch with either a loss or tie versus Indianapolis or a Chicago win or tie versus Minnesota.

Chicago, meanwhile, requires a loss and Texans win to move into the leading spot. Houston has the tiebreaker in the unlikely occasion that both groups finish with the exact same winning percentage.How ‘d the Texans wind up here? And are they sure Davis Mills is not their person at QB?Bien -Aime: Houston has struggled throughout the board, with its 4.7

backyards per play ranking last in the league and 5.7 lawns allowed per play sitting at

24th. Its nine-game losing streak in the middle of the season was connected for the second-longest in franchise history, behind a 14-game stint in 2013. And the team actually struggled to liquidate games, too. In 5 of the Texans’13 losses, they either led or were connected after the 3rd quarter. That isn’t going to get it done.2 Related And yes, quarterback play hasn’t been where it requires to be to win, and it’s clear Mills is not the Texans ‘long-lasting answer

— specifically because they at one point benched him for Kyle Allen and have leaned more on Jeff Driskel in a two-QB system down the stretch. The offense has actually averaged only 16.1 points (31st ), and Mills has actually tossed 13 interceptions over 14 starts. His 32.9 QBR ranks 30th out of 31 qualifying quarterbacks, ahead of only Baker Mayfield.Mills is a strong NFL backup, but he isn’t a long-term starter the Texans can construct around. They require to explore other choices this spring.So then it’s quarterback or bust for the Texans with their top pick?Bien-

Aime: Absolutely. The Texans not having a response at the position is a major reason they’re selecting this high, and this need to be a strong class to find their man. Over the past 2 seasons, Houston ranks 31st in QBR (33.7 )and 32nd in lawns

per dropback (5.5), and this is an outstanding possibility to drastically improve the outlook of the position. Put simply, the Texans’rebuild can’t reach its ceiling if there’s no stability at the position.Something else to think about: Houston also needs some juice and energy. The stadium is half empty throughout games, and the Texans require a player to reenergize the fan base. A future star quarterback could do that.Who are the quarterbacks that could go No. 1? Reid: There are three who truly have a shot, and each has his own distinct ability set.First, there’s Bryce Young of Alabama, who declared for the draft after the Crimson Tide won their bowl game. Noted at 6-foot and 194 pounds, Young is smaller sized than the other two, but he has all of the other active ingredients needed to become a high-end passer at the next level

. Among the bulks of his game is his ability to diagnose and attack weak spots in defenses

with either his arm or his legs. He has outstanding poise and plays the game with the same heart beat no matter the magnitude of the situation.Then there is Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, a standard pocket passer who can see it, read it and execute any throw. When in rhythm, he’s a point guard who can distribute the ball precisely in a prompt way. The 6-foot-3, 218-pound Stroud displays tidy footwork and great body mechanics, but he needs to show more as a developer when plays are knocked off schedule. – Ranks: Kiper”| McShay”|Positions”- McShay’s mock”| Huge questions”- Meet the top potential customers in the class “- QB Hot Board”| First-round grades” – Complete ranks”|

Draft order”|More” And finally, we have Kentucky passer Will Levis. At 6-foot-3 and 232 pounds, he has the
kind of frame that NFL groups long for, and the Wildcats ‘offense offered him a lot of experience with pro-style offending ideas, including play-action and experience from both under center and

out of the shotgun. The ball comes off his hand with a lots of velocity, too, as Levis can deliver it where it needs to go even when his feet aren’t properly set. But his turnover woes are concerning. He had at least one in all however 3 games this season and tossed 10 interceptions.Which of them is the very best fit for Houston?Reid: Young. He has actually been my QB1 because the summertime, and I don’t see anything changing. Houston is still reconstructing this roster with young skill, but basic manager Nick Caserio has some young building blocks in location and two first-round choices in each of the next two drafts.The Texans plainly do not have an identity, and that”

face of the franchise “-type player still has actually

n’t emerged. Young would immediately alter whatever, offering the team an instantaneous shock of enjoyment. He can make all the tosses and has actually found success no matter the supporting cast. Plus, he already knows among their young players, having connected with John Metchie III 96 times at Alabama last season.

Metchie, Houston’s second-round choice last April, missed out on the season while being treated for leukemia, but he is expected to be all set to play in 2023. The Texans also have a second Round 1 pick, courtesy of the Browns. What’s their greatest need beyond QB?Bien -Aime: There are a lot of weaknesses here– after all, Houston has simply 2 wins– but the interior offending line is probably their greatest requirement. Their combination of best guard A.J. Cann, center Scott Quessenberry and left guard Kenyon Green has actually given up 22 sacks.But that’s not a position you’ll see this early in the draft( presently forecasted to be No.

12, per ESPN’s FPI ), so I ‘d anticipate Houston to include a difference-maker at a premium offending position. Receiver Brandin Cooks leads the group with 593 getting lawns, and no one has more TD captures than tight end Jordan Akins ‘3. The Texans require to get their new QB some help!OK, and how about the Bears? How did they wind up here despite Justin Fields’breakout?Cronin: Yes, they have actually been better, however the skill surrounding Fields has been Chicago’s risk.

The Bears have the league’s worst passing offense and don’t have a single player with at least 500 getting yards. Defensively, they rank 29th in run defense( 5.0 backyards permitted per rush ), and no group gives up more points than their 27.1 per game average. Their Week 17 loss was their ninth straight, the longest losing streak in franchise history.This group was not constructed to see success in the form of wins in 2022, and general supervisor Ryan Poles

began a lineup teardown at midseason by trading linebacker Roquan Smith to Baltimore. The Bears, nevertheless, are now in a position to add strongly by means of complimentary agency– they have north of $110 million in wage cap space in 2023– and the draft, and they currently checked their biggest and crucial box by figuring out Fields is the quarterback to construct around.Odds to be the No. 1 pick Unlike Houston, Chicago would not be taking a look at QB with this choice. What is the Bears’top concern atop the draft?Cronin: Building around Fields on offense is crucial, but the Bears can’t truly do that at No. 1 or No. 2 based upon positional value.

Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter could rather be an alternative due to the fact that 3-technique is the most essential position in Matt Eberflus’defense. The Bears have disappointed a capability to pressure opposing quarterbacks(22 %of opponent dropbacks, 31st in the NFL)or stop the run. Drafting someone like Carter starts to fix both of those issues.Offensive line and wide receiver are likewise among this team’s most significant needs. Beyond wideouts Darnell Mooney, Chase Claypool and novice Velus Jones Jr., who can the Bears say for particular is on their

lineup next year at the position?Who are the non-QB prospects who could go No. 1 if the Bears are picking there?Reid: How about Alabama edge rush Will Anderson Jr.? The 6-foot-4, 243-pounder has 27.5 sacks, 54 tackles for loss and 129 pressures over the previous two seasons. Simply think about that the Bears ‘leader in sacks this season is security Jaquan Brisker(four), and it’s obvious this group needs assistance because location. Anderson would provide the group a trustworthy risk off the edge who might turn into a possible franchise focal point. His mix of pass-rush savviness, heavy hands and explosiveness really sticks out on tape.Courtney likewise mentioned Carter, and Eberflus is on record saying that 3-technique is the”engine that makes everything go “in his defense. At 6-foot-3 and 300 pounds, Carter’s volatility and permeating capability would be a welcome addition.Teams will be looking to move up the board for a QB. Would a trade down be in play for Chicago?Cronin: Absolutely. Chicago does not have a requirement

at quarterback, so it would remain in prime position to take the very best trade plan readily available and return from No. 1( or No. 2) while still being able to draft a top protective player. The Bears might not wish to move down too far, given Carter and Anderson will not be readily available for long, however there must be choices there.If Houston falls to No. 2 and has its eyes set on drafting a specific passer, it might be willing pay a steep rate to transfer to No. 1 to guarantee that occurs and obstruct another team.Teams such as Seattle, Indianapolis, Detroit, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Carolina could likewise all be in the mix to offer up a big bundle to get their guy.

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