Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy have their quarterback. This time, it wasn't a secret that the Bears might move up for a quarterback and that's exactly what they did Thursday night, selecting Ohio State's Justin Fields with the 11th overall pick.
To jump up to No. 11, the Bears sent the New York Giants the 20th and 164th overall pick in 2021, as well as 2022 first- and fourth-round picks. The move wasn't cheap, but reasonable for moving up nine spots to get a quarterback as talented as Fields.
Strengths: Fields is an outstanding athlete with an ideal size and good feet. His mobility is a weapon, but he’s really a pocket passer who happens to be mobile. Can make every NFL throw. Unquestioned toughness was shown when he played through extreme pain against Clemson in the 2021 Sugar Bowl. Coaches love this guy — not just Ohio State coaches, but even opposing coaches who recruited him out of high school.
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Weaknesses: Fields is a methodical passer who sometimes hesitates to pull the trigger. The clock will need to be faster at the NFL level. While he can make plays with his feet when structure breaks down, he’s not as dangerous of a thrower off-platform. Fumbles were also an issue for him at Ohio State so an emphasis on ball security will be important.
Ryan Pace's take: "It’s the arm talent, it’s the accuracy, it’s the athleticism. When you see a guy with that kind of arm talent, with that kind of quarterback makeup that he has, with that kind of work ethic that he has, that’s played in really big games and really big moments and performed in big moments, that’s extremely tough—You know, I was at the Michigan game a couple years ago when he came back in from a knee, and we know about the ribs and the hip, and this guy’s toughness on a scale of 1-10 is an 11. And you just love that about him. Oh, and then by the way, he runs a 4.44. You throw all that in together and it just feels good.”
The scouting report:
What it means: If Andy Dalton is still "QB1," the clock is ticking. Fields isn't perfect and can use some time to develop at the NFL level, but he's also talented enough to play early. Matt Nagy's experience with Patrick Mahomes in 2017 is notable as Mahomes sat for 15 games behind Alex Smith and didn't become the starter until 2018. It would not be surprising to see the Bears attempt a similar path with Fields. The Ohio State star joins a quarterback room that includes both Dalton and Nick Foles.