After four months of buildup, hype, angst and hopes, at the end of the day the Bears did exactly what the great majority of their fan base hoped for and what many analysts thought they should: a bold move up the draft board to get quarterback Justin Fields.
If you’ve followed all our pre-draft work and scouting you know I had Fields and Trey Lance for the most part tied as the second best quarterback prospect in this draft, so getting him at No. 11 feels like excellent value if you discount the extra picks it took to get him.
On the other hand, I couldn’t see how general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy could make their team better this season by paying a price like the San Francisco 49ers did to go up and get Trey Lance, whose ceiling may be a bit higher than Fields’ but who is also a much greater gamble. It appears as if with this move Pace found a way to thread that needle and possibly address both needs.
According to the NFL trade value chart, the Bears did overpay somewhat significantly giving up this year’s 20th pick and 164th along with first- and fourth-round picks next year.
I hated trading another No. 1 next year.
But, I assume the reason they did that is it allowed them to keep this year’s second- and third-round picks, where there is a very good chance they can still find one or even two rookie starters at tackle, or possibly a tackle and a wide receiver or pass rusher on Day 2 Friday.
As a prospect Fields is most things Mitch Trubisky wasn’t. He has just as high a ceiling – if not higher – but comes with 12 games at Georgia, 22 starts over two full seasons at Ohio State for a 68.4% completion percentage, 67 TDs vs. just nine picks and 1,133 rushing yards on 260 attempts.
Fields is the most accomplished QB prospect in this draft after Trevor Lawrence, and probably has the most arm talent after Lawrence.
You have to know that’s going to make him expensive – very expensive – and yet I’m not sure the Bears overpaid. They certainly didn’t get pantsed the way they did moving up for a much greater unknown in Trubisky.
For a draft day grade that is completely unrelated to what we may or may not be saying in a year or two and based strictly on potential and price, this one is an A- or a B+.