Field Yates Talks Bears-Panthers Trade Impact, Bryce Young, and Drake Maye

Field Yates talks Bears-Panthers trade, Drake Maye, and more

It was an eventful NFL season that will be paired with an exciting offseason as teams will be making significant moves during free agency and in the 2024 NFL Draft. Who gets drafted number one? Will the Bears trade Justin Fields? These are just many of the questions that remain to be answered.

We talked with ESPN NFL insider Field Yates about the impact of the Bears-Panthers trade that landed the Bears the number one pick, Bryce Young’s rookie season, and QB prospect Drake Maye.

Reviewing the Blockbuster Bears-Panthers Trade

The impact of the Bears-Panthers trade from last year’s draft ended up having major implications for 2024 as the Bears now sit with the number one pick. Before the 2023 draft, the Carolina Panthers traded DJ Moore and several draft picks for the number one overall pick to select Bryce Young. The picks included their 2024 first-round pick which is first overall after the Panthers finished 2-15.

We asked Field Yates what he thought about the impact of the blockbuster trade now that a year has passed and he gave his thoughts:

The reality of when you make a trade of that magnitude is that it will be judged on an outcome basis, not the process, as the draft is a projection in countless ways and we are delving into unknowns, even at the highest levels of prospects.

A year in, it looks like one of the great trades in recent memory – maybe ever – for the Bears, as while the team did not make the playoffs in 2023, it was incredible asset management and sets them up for another massive 2024 NFL Draft. It’s too soon to close the book on the Panthers and their decision, but there is an urgency for Bryce Young’s development now.

Patience is gone in the NFL and given the ascension of CJ Stroud, it’s imperative Bryce emerges expeditiously. If the deal had led to them drafting Stroud and him playing like he did for the Texans, we would all be lauding the Panthers.

Many NFL fans spent the season questioning Young going number one overall as they watched CJ Stoud lead the Texans to the playoffs and earn the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.

Thoughts on Bryce Young’s Rookie Season in Carolina

(Bryce Young and the Panthers struggled in 2023. Photo by: Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports)

Bryce Young struggled in year one as the Carolina Panthers were a complete mess in 2023. They finished 2-15 overall while ranking 31st in offense. Yates shared his thoughts on Young’s first season and his future:

While we often think of NFL draft picks “failing” the reality is that many times teams fail a player more than the other way around. Bryce Young was in about as poor of a set of circumstances as you could be: there was not a cogent plan from an infrastructure standpoint to allow for success.

A talent dearth at pretty much every position on offense left him playing behind the 8 Ball and a poor vision by the coaching staff was equally harmful. The only consistent factor in his rookie year was inconsistency, as the team switched play callers and fired a first year head coach before season’s end. I will continue to have faith in Young based off of what he did in college, rather than his rookie season.

Scouting Top QB Prospect Drake Maye

(Drake Maye is seen as a top-5 pick in recent mock drafts. Rob Kinnan/USA TODAY Sports)

One of the top prospects for the 2024 NFL Draft is North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye. A projected top-5 pick, Yates breaks down what’s special about Maye and his comparisons to any current NFL quarterbacks:

The comparison that you will hear often for Drake Maye is Justin Herbert and I think there are elements to that which are accurate: they both meld an incredibly strong arm with a well-built frame (6-foot-4, 229 pounds for Maye) and very good mobility (Maye led North Carolina in rushing in 2022). That cannon of an arm is matched by creativity in and out of the pocket and toughness to withstand impact when defenders get their hands on his frame. He has massive upside in the NFL.

Maye threw 24 touchdowns in 2023 while adding 9 rushing touchdowns as a redshirt sophomore. As a redshirt freshman, Maye burst onto the scene by throwing 38 touchdown passes to go along with over 4,300 yards. He’s expected to be one of the first quarterbacks taken near the top of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Caleb Williams, the Bears, and the Super Bowl

(Caleb Williams is the projected number one overall pick. Photo by: Jason Parkhurst/USA TODAY Sports)

All eyes will be on the Bears this offseason as they have a major decision to make with the number one pick. Do they trade Justin Fields and select Caleb Williams? Do they stick with Fields and trade the pick? NFL fans are on the edge of their seats as we wait.

Looking to the future, we wonder if the Bears take Caleb Williams, will he reach a Super Bowl in a Bears uniform? We had to ask Yates for his thoughts:

Aside from Patrick Mahomes, it’s hard to make a bet on any quarterback playing in a Super Bowl, as the NFL is often a league of parity. But, I’m bullish on both Williams and the Bears’ future, so I will say yes.

It should be an exciting offseason with the Chicago Bears, Justin Fields, and the number one pick in the 2024 NFL Draft at the center.

Read More: NC sports betting launches March 11 and key NFL offseason dates

written by

Sam hails from Grandville, Michigan. He has a rich sports background, including playing baseball at Central Michigan before covering high school sports and working with the Orlando Magic. He earned his broadcasting/journalism degree from Central Michigan University and was a member of the 2010 MAC Championship baseball team. Sam developed his expertise while working with Betsperts, Bleacher Nation, and 4for4 in various areas such as writing, social media, betting research, and business development. He's a big fan of the NBA, NFL, and MLB, highly interested in data and statistics.

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