The Chicago Bears thrilled their fans during the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night, trading up nine spots with the New York Giants to select former Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields with the no. 12 overall pick.
Fields marks a rare potential franchise QB for Da Bears, who haven’t sent a signal-caller to the Pro Bowl since Jim McMahon in 1985.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport provided some insight into the Bears’ thinking, and why GM Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy decided to aggressively pursue Fields. Not surprisingly, it came down to two key qualities: skills and smarts.
“This is not Mitchell Trubisky…this was a player who most teams believed was the no. 3 quarterback on the board. He also really impressed everyone in the pre-draft process,” Rapoport said.
Rapoport cited a key endorsement from Fields’ college coach, Ryan Day.
“Nagy calls up Ryan Day during the season last year, and just kind of wonders, ‘Hey, how’s your quarterback? What’s going on?’ Ryan Day says, ‘He’s a generational talent.’ And that’s something that I know the Bears never forgot.”
Additionally, Rapoport said the Bears have been impressed by Fields’ football acumen. In fact, after he had been chosen, Fields flexed his mental muscles once again, perfectly recounting a tidbit from a pre-draft Zoom call to go over the Bears’ offense.
“They love Justin Fields’ intellect and his recall. Late last night, after the pick had been made…Matt Nagy hits up Fields…and says, ‘Hey, remember that formation that we went over during the Zoom?’ , asked him ‘What was it?’ And Fields spit it back perfectly — remembered everything about it. Really impressive mentally.”
From our Draft Kickoff Show: Why did the #Bears trade up for #OSU Justin Fields? Simple. His “generational talent” and his intelligence. A look at how it went down 👇🏻 👇🏻 👇🏻 pic.twitter.com/RTVMBLgvty
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 30, 2021
At long last, the Chicago Bears may have themselves a quarterback.