We know the Vikings had an interest in drafting Justin Fields.
And we know the Bears trading up with the Giants ultimately prevented the Vikings from making a run at taking him.
What we didn’t know was how serious Minnesota was about making a deal or how close it had come to making one elsewhere. I say “didn’t” because now we have some clarity on the situation. And as it turns out, the Vikings weren’t even close:
The move up would’ve been for either Justin Fields or Rashawn Slater.
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) May 28, 2021
The Vikings weren’t even close to cutting a deal with the Panthers. It’s not as if Carolina didn’t have an interest in hearing out offers for the eighth overall pick. In fact, they were fielding all sorts of offers while on the clock. So much so, they left Jaycee Horn — who they’d eventually take with the No. 8 pick — on pins and needles doubting he would be the pick because they hadn’t called. But in the end, the Panthers weren’t having it if a future first-round pick wasn’t thrown into the mix.
So rather than move up to take Justin Fields or Rashawn Slater, the Vikings would trade back and take Virginia Tech left tackle Christian Darrisaw. Not a bad pick. In fact, that selection was quite good considering Minnesota’s needs and long-time issues on the line. But the Vikings will see Fields twice per year, and he could very well make them pay for their lack of fortitude when it came to pushing their trade chips all in. Frankly, I’m looking forward to those Bears-Vikings matchups even more knowing what we know now.
And yet, I’m still curious as to why the Panthers didn’t make a play on Fields for themselves. Their long-term quarterback situation isn’t settled. And Fields would be the most talented player at the position upon arrival. Clearly, as we discussed earlier this week in Bullets, Carolina valued what Horn could bring to their defense more than what Fields was offering. But it’s not as if Fields wasn’t in consideration:
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) May 28, 2021
Part of me is even more confused about the Panthers not taking Fields. Because if a QB and CB are in the same pod of players worth taking at No. 8, conventional thinking would point to taking the more important position. Nevertheless, there isn’t a Bears fan out there who is upset with Carolina’s final decision.
In the end, all of this serves as a reminder of how everything broke the Bears’ way on NFL Draft weekend. And that sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than good. After all, aren’t the Bears due for some good fortune? I tend to think so.