Grading the Draft

Tyler Langford, Writer

The Bears traded up for a QB once again in the 2021 NFL draft, and they landed themselves arguably the best QB prospect in franchise history in Justin Fields.

Finding themselves with the 20th pick in the 2021 NFL draft, the Bears were expected to take an OT or a CB by many, with some speculating that they’d try and make a move if a QB they liked fell to them. And fall Justin Fields did. The long time number two prospect in college football slid from a possible top three pick all the way down to 11, where the Bears traded the number twenty pick, a fifth rounder, and next year’s first and fourth rounders to jump the patriots and others for Fields.

Fields is a pocket passer with elite arm talent who also happens to run a 4.4 40 yard dash. His elite deep ball and strong arm paired with great accuracy put him right next to longtime rival Trevor Lawrence in terms of potential.

Coming out of Ohio State, Fields never lost as a starter in Big Ten play, and led his Buckeyes to two Big Ten championships and two playoff appearances, including finishing runner up to Alabama in the 2020 season.

He has all the talent in the world, and yet coming into the draft scouts had a lot of questions about whether or not he was mentally ready for the NFL. Scouts said he was a poor leader, didn’t have a good work ethic, isn’t intelligent enough, and is unable to read NFL defenses at a high level.

Fields’ head coach in college, however, disagrees. Ryan Day called Fields a “Generational talent,” and stated that Fields will have a ton of success at the next level specifically because of his intelligence, saying “He’s really intelligent. He’s really athletic and really competitive.”

He went on to assert that Fields would pick up on playbook concepts really quickly, and this his decision making was “excellent.”

If that isn’t enough, every year, QB prospects have to take an aptitude test in their pre-draft process. Fields, who is “not intelligent enough” to be a high level QB in the NFL? He had the highest score in the history of the aptitude test, blowing out names such as Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes.

All in all this was an easy grade. The Bears turned the 20th pick into a top three prospect in the draft with the highest ceiling of any QB in his class.

Fields has a chip on his shoulder, two veteran QB’s along with a HC, OC, and QB coach who all played QB at a high level, mentoring him throughout the process.

This pick is an easy A+