Might Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears be a match made in heaven?
The search for a franchise quarterback in Chicago might finally be over.
Entering Thursday night's NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears were not believed to be in play for a quarterback in the first round, as they were slated to pick 20th.
But when Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields began to slide, the Bears swapped first-round picks with the New York Giants, moving from 20th to the 11th pick to select their quarterback of the future.
Fields is coming off two elite seasons at Ohio State, where he went 20-2 as the starting quarterback while throwing 63 touchdown passes and only nine interceptions.
Given that the city has been deprived of elite quarterback play, it should come as no surprise that fans in Chicago were elated upon hearing that Fields was their team's first-round pick.
The Bears moved on from quarterback Mitchell Trubisky in the offseason after taking him with the second overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. They signed veteran quarterback Andy Dalton, who spent last season with the Dallas Cowboys, to run the ship at least in the short term.
The Bears also still have Nick Foles under contract for next season. Foles started seven games for the team in 2020.
While Dalton and Foles are steady veterans, neither possesses the exciting potential of Fields.
Fields not only completed 68.3% of his passes in two seasons at Ohio State but also rushed for 867 yards and 15 touchdowns. What's more, he ran a 4.41 40-yard dash this year.
All of those tools make Shannon Sharpe believe Fields will be the starting quarterback in Chicago sooner rather than later, as he explained on "Undisputed."
"We know Andy Dalton is a stopgap. They still have Nick Foles on the roster ... They need a quarterback that they can build for the future," Sharpe said. "They thought they had that with Trubisky. Obviously, they were wrong. Ryan Pace and the head coach, Matt Nagy, they knew they had to get a quarterback."
But even with Fields appearing to bring everything the Bears could want in their quarterback, questions remain.
The previous two young quarterbacks who were seen as franchise saviors for the Bears, Jay Cutler and Trubisky, failed to live up to expectations.
In eight seasons with the Bears, Cutler had a winning record only three times, though he did help lead the team to the 2011 NFC Championship Game. Trubisky had a winning record in each of his past three seasons as a starter for the Bears, but the team made the playoffs only once, in 2018.
Given the Bears' shaky history of developing quarterbacks, David Pollack doesn't see this as an ideal fit for Fields. He detailed why on ESPN's "Get Up."
"This isn't an easy situation for Justin Fields to come into," he said. "I definitely don't think this is a situation where he is going to come in and light it up and prove everybody wrong. It's going to be a tough, tough job for Justin Fields to go to Chicago and win."
Fields will get his chance to break the quarterback curse in Chicago.
If he can do it, the Bears might finally have stability at the most important position on the field.
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