The Chicago Bears are approaching what might be GM Ryan Pace’s most important draft. It could also very well be his last. With holes to fill throughout the roster and eight picks at his disposal, Pace sets out on a weekend in search of impact talent and players with upside. With all eyes on the 2021 NFL Draft, let’s check out some of the more promising draft-eligible prospects who have been rumored to be persons of interest.
Previous targets: N/A
Today: Justin Skyler Fields, QB, Ohio State
Performance, Rankings, Accomplishments
• Measurements: 6-3, 227 pounds, 32.5-inch arms, 9.125-inch hands
• 2020 stats: 8 games, 158/225 (70.2%), 2,100 yards, 22 TD, 6 INT; 81 carries, 383 yards, 5 TD
• Career stats: 34 games (22 starts), 423/618 (68.4%), 5,701 yards, 67 TD, 9 INT; 260 carries, 1,133 yards, 19 TD
• Accomplishments: Heisman Trophy finalist (2019), Chicago Tribune Silver Football (2020), First-team All-Big Ten (2019, 2020), Big Ten Quarterback of the Year (2019, 2020), Second-team All-American (2019), First-team All-Big Ten (2019, 2020), Big Ten Championship MVP (2019)
• Position ranking: 4th (ESPN), 3rd (Pro Football Focus), 2nd (The Draft Network), 3rd (Pro Football Network)
The NFL.com Draft Profile Says…
“Fields operates with a quiet confidence and has experience overcoming adversity. He should continue to improve and become a solid NFL starter within a couple of seasons.”
Matt Nagy’s presence at Fields’ second Pro Day hints at Chicago’s possible interest in the Ohio State signal caller.
Doing that while playing through a ribs injury was impressive. That he did so in a college football playoff semifinal takes it up a notch.
Where’s the Fit?
Tell me the Bears need a quarterback without saying, “The Bears need a quarterback.”
Football insiders, pundits, analysts, and — frankly, anyone with their finger on the pulse of Chicago football — had the Bears selecting someone who would ultimately be Mitchell Trubisky’s replacement in the 2021 NFL Draft early in 2020. Seriously. The dust was barely settling on the 2020 NFL Draft when Justin Fields was first sent to Chicago in a 2021 mock on April 27, 2020. That’s how down bad things were (are?) for the Bears at quarterback.
Unfortunately, because the Bears weren’t terribly awful last year, not too many mocks have him in a place where he ends up in Chicago. Bummer. Even still … we’ve spilled plenty of virtual ink on Fields during the pre-draft process. The Bears have a need and the Ohio State product talks the talk in a way that makes it easy to envision him as the one who makes us forget about quarterbacks who have let us down in the past. And if you squint a little, you can see a realistic fit. But for this to happen, the Bears need to successfully move up in the draft and Fields to fall out of the top-3. And yet, we’re enthralled by the possibility — even if it’s a bit of a long shot.