Bears have had the top draft pick twice before, in the 1940s
Houston Texans coach Lovie Smith did the Bears a favor Sunday, guiding his team to a 32-21 win over Indianapolis. The Bears, after losing 29-13 Sunday to the Vikings, finish with the worst record in the league at 3-14, and with one of the most valuable assets in football: the No. 1 draft pick.
The Bears will pick first overall for the first time since 1947. Houston finished 3-13-1 and winds up with the second overall pick.
The Bears have picked first overall just two times since the draft was introduced in 1936.
They selected halfback Tom Harmon from Michigan with the first overall pick in 1941. That year, the Bears had acquired the first pick in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles. They actually had three of 10 first-round picks that year; they also traded for the Pittsburgh Steelers' first-round pick at No. 3 overall and had their own at No. 9 overall.
In 1947, the NFL began a new process where the first overall pick was determined by a lottery with all 10 of the league's teams having an equal shot at the top pick. The Bears, coming off a championship season in 1946, won the first lottery and selected Oklahoma A&M halfback Bob Fenimore with the first overall pick. The NFL did away with the lottery system after the 1958 draft.
Since then, the Bears have not picked first overall. They selected quarterback Mitchell Trubisky with the second overall pick in 2017.
The last trade:
The No. 1 overall draft pick has not been traded since 2016, when the Los Angeles Rams traded up with the Tennessee Titans for the first overall pick.
The Rams gave up the No. 15 pick, two second-round picks, a third-round pick, plus a first-round pick and a second-round pick the following year in exchange for the No. 1 overall pick, a fourth-round pick and a sixth-round pick. The Rams used the first overall pick to select quarterback Jared Goff.