4 Justin Fields replacements Bears could still draft if they trade down

The Chicago Bears have traded down before, so there is a chance they could do it again in 2024.

Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
Justin Fields, Chicago Bears / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages
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2. North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye

I think if the Bears were going to move back from No. 1, the likeliest candidate to be the heir apparent to Justin Fields in Chicagoland would have to be Drake Maye. While he had an up-and-down college career at North Carolina, he was an undisputed QB2 throughout all of last season for a good reason. Up until recently, he was a sure-fire pick to go top-three to a Chicago, Washington or New England.

If the Bears were to move back to No. 8 with a team like the Atlanta Falcons, there is a decent chance Maye could be on the board. He will definitely be there if the Bears moved back to No. 3 in a deal with the New England Patriots. However, moving back with any team picking after Atlanta at No. 8 is playing with fire if the Bears really want to draft Maye. Only a slight move back gets him to Chicago.

Right now, Maye is QB3 on my board. That means he should be drafted somewhere in the No. 3 to No. 8 range. If Chicago is able to find the right trade partner in that cluster of teams, Maye might end up being the next face of the Bears franchise. He may be more talented that Mitchell Trubisky coming out, but there is also a chance that playing in Chicago eats the former North Carolina standout alive.

Chicago is better taking former North Carolina stars at No. 3 than moving up to No. 2 to acquire them.