The Chicago Bears aren’t ignorant of their situation. They know if they’re going to secure their future in the long-term, they need a quarterback. Thus far they haven’t had any luck on that front. Their first swing at Russell Wilson fell through. Some think they’ll try again next month but that isn’t certain. Plenty of experts believe they’re preparing a massive move up the board in the upcoming draft for a quarterback. Most believe it’ll be Mac Jones. Is that true? Or could it be Justin Fields?
It sounds crazy to think about. A few months ago people were convinced Fields was a lock to be the #2 quarterback behind Trevor Lawrence in this class. Things seem to have changed. A source informed SM that those inside Halas Hall are keeping a close watch on the Ohio State quarterback, believing it’s slightly possible he could drop.
What makes them so convinced?
A variety of factors. There seems to be a sentiment around the NFL that teams are wary of Fields after the debacle with Dwayne Haskins. People will remember he was another highly-touted QB from Ohio State and flamed out spectacularly. To say nothing of the program’s overall history. Despite being one of the top football factories in the country, they still haven’t produced a successful NFL quarterback.
Then there is the buzz surrounding the top 5 picks. After the San Francisco 49ers traded up from #12 to #3, it became clear that three quarterbacks would be going in the first three picks. Lawrence at #1 is a given. Now people are convinced Zach Wilson of BYU will go #2 to the Jets. So who will the 49ers take? Curiously, the debate has been more between Trey Lance of North Dakota State and Jones of Alabama. Fields isn’t mentioned as much.
49ers-Dolphins…Kyle Shanahan trying to control his own fate. You trade up to 3 for a QB who is NFL-ready right now, not a project. And to me that says Mac Jones.
— Chris Simms (@CSimmsQB) March 26, 2021
Justin Fields is all over the place in terms of where teams have placed him on their boards. Highest I've heard is top 5, lowest: Round 4. My guess is 49ers aren't moving up for him, but instead Trey Lance.
— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) March 26, 2021
Congrats on the addition of Trey Lance with this trade, SF. All-day fit for Kyle Shanahan offense.
— Lance Zierlein (@LanceZierlein) March 26, 2021
So I'd I had to guess now…
1. Jax T Lawrence
2. NYJ Z Wilson
3. SF T Lance
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) March 26, 2021
Justin Fields has the talent worth trading up for
Physical ability is not lacking at all. Fields has plenty of size to go along with a live arm and upper-tier mobility. He can beat defenses in a variety of ways. His accuracy is also sharp, able to hit receivers consistently at all levels. The primary concerns with him center around his ability to process defenses. Pre-snap reads and going through progressions. He was inconsistent at this throughout college and it showed up in some big games last year.
Plenty of people have come out in defense of him over this. They believe he’s capable of reading the field. Ohio State just didn’t ask the quarterback to do it a lot. By the sound of it, the Bears seem to think he’d be worth the risk. So could Justin Fields actually drop?
It’s hard to say. Looking at the board as it’s currently configured, there are three teams in the top 10 that could take him:
Atlanta at #4, Carolina at #8, and Denver at #9.
Matt Ryan is 36-years old and the Falcons need to start thinking about his heir apparent. The Panthers made their thoughts on Teddy Bridgewater clear when they were reportedly prepared to go all-in for Deshaun Watson. As for the Broncos, they don’t seem completely sold on Drew Lock. They also have a new GM who may want his own quarterback.
If Fields somehow slips through all that? The next team to worry about is the Patriots at #15. That makes a move up for the Bears far more doable with teams like Dallas (#10), Philadelphia (#12), and Los Angeles (#13) being prime spots to jump up to. Will it happen? Probably not. This is the draft though and quarterbacks have fallen before.