The Chicago Bears entered the 2021 NFL Draft without their quarterback of the future on the roster after moving on from Mitchell Trubisky. Chicago moved to add Andy Dalton as a veteran stop-gap but, despite their insistence on proclaiming him as “QB1” in the offseason, the Bears needed a plan for the long term. The issue, at least on paper, was that Chicago began the draft with the No. 20 pick, and it is challenging to find “the guy” at that slot in the first round. The Bears solved that problem with a draft-night move, though, sending multiple picks to the New York Giants to acquire the No. 11 pick and select Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields.
After a trade with the Giants for the No. 11 pick, the @ChicagoBears select: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State@justnfields | @OhioStateFB
: 2021 #NFLDraft on NFLN/ESPN/ABC pic.twitter.com/89qdOGFRjV
— NFL (@NFL) April 30, 2021
The price was lofty for Chicago, sending their No. 20 pick, their first round pick in 2022, their 2021 fifth round pick (164 overall) and their 2022 fourth round pick to New York to move up nine spots. Still, that is the kind of haul often required to find a centerpiece-level quarterback, and Fields has off-the-charts talent.
Fields emerged as a top-two prospect, alongside Trevor Lawrence, coming out of high school and after a transfer from Georgia, Fields was tremendous at Ohio State. As such, it was at least a mild surprise that he was even available at the No. 11 pick.
Ultimately, Fields became the fourth quarterback off the board behind Lawrence, Zach Wilson and Trey Lance, but he is a top-level talent that is worthy of this kind of swing from the Bears. Chicago’s front office is putting itself on the line with all kinds of pressure after the way the Trubisky experiment went, but the upside is considerable and this makes all the sense in the world.