No team made a more aggressive move on the first night of the NFL draft than the Chicago Bears.
It was clear coming into the offseason that the Bears would need to address the quarterback situation, having realized that neither Mitchell Trubisky nor Nick Foles are the answer for them moving forward.
They gave up quite a bit and traded up to the 11th overall pick to select Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. The Bears are hoping he will be their answer under center for the next decade.
2021 NFL draft first-round pick Justin Fields is new Chicago Bears QB
The Bears traded with the New York Giants to acquire the 11th overall pick. New York received the 20th overall pick in this draft, which they used to select wide receiver Kadarius Toney out of the University of Florida. The Giants also received a fifth-round pick in this draft, plus the Bears’ first- and fourth-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Some evaluators believe that Fields was one of the top prospects at the position in the draft, so it was a little surprising that Fields was still available at number 11. The Bears are hoping that Fields can replicate the success he had with the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Windy City.
Fields transferred to Ohio State from the University of Georgia after his freshman year. In his last two seasons in Columbus, the quarterback threw for a combined 63 touchdowns and just nine interceptions.
Earlier in the offseason, the Bears tried to address their quarterback woes by signing veteran Andy Dalton to a one-year contract. Even though Chicago drafted Fields, the team maintains that Dalton is their starter heading into training camp.
Dalton appeared in 11 games last year in his first season with the Dallas Cowboys after starter Dak Prescott went down with a serious ankle injury. He spent the first nine years of his career with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Despite less than stellar play under center in Chicago last year, the Bears were still able to make the playoffs as a wild-card team in the NFC. The Bears probably believe that their roster is good enough to compete with almost any team in the conference, and only need an upgrade at quarterback to go deep in the playoffs.
Nick Foles went 2-5 as a starter during the regular season last year, while Mitchell Trubisky finished off the 2020 campaign with a 6-3 record. Trubisky signed with the Buffalo Bills as their backup quarterback last month.