The Chicago Bears may have finally escaped quarterback purgatory after picking Justin Fields with the 11th overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft.
The Bears traded four picks to the New York Giants to move up nine spots in the draft to pick the former Ohio State quarterback. While it may seem like a steep price, it could be totally worth it for a team that has struggled to find a long-term solution for their quarterback conundrum.
The Chicago Bears' "Patrick Mahomes Project"
On April 27th, 2017, Kansas City offensive coordinator Matt Nagy watched his mentor and head coach Andy Reid mortgage the team's immediate future to move up from 27th to 10th in the first round of the NFL draft to select quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
It did not matter that their incumbent starter Alex Smith led the NFL in passer rating, Coach Reid knew the ceiling with Smith and chose to move on to a QB who he believed didn't have one.
Three years and three days on, Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy showed he really is a chip off the old block by choosing to move up from 20th to 11th to take a QB with a high ceiling.
Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy is a leaf off Andy Reid’s coaching tree and more than any other disciple swears by the passing game.
The Bears had one of the worst rushing units in the NFL last season, while the Kansas City Chiefs were just slightly below average. But the difference between the two offenses was that Andy Reid had a quarterback who could take full advantage of his passing schemes while coach Nagy was stuck with the inconsisent Mitchell Trubisky.
Looking at Justin Fields, there simply isn't a significant weakness in the young quarterback's repertoire. Fields has the size, athleticism, speed and arm strength to fully unlock coach Nagy’s playbook and take this Chicago Bears offense to the next level.
Much like Andy Reid, coach Nagy may have his very own "Mahomes project".
The Immediate Future For Justin Fields
The best thing for all parties is to let Fields learn the playbook from the sidelines during his rookie campaign.
Chicago Bears fans may not enjoy this in the short term but it’s what’s best long term for all parties involved. Justin Fields could learn behind Andy Dalton before taking over the starting role in the 2022 season.
The Vikings and Lions have been perennially inconsistent while the Packers are in turmoil due to Rodgers' trade request. The Bears could soon rule the NFC North if they remain patient.