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They Said It

They Said It: Reaction to selection of Fields

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Here's what local and national writers are saying about the Bears trading up to choose Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields with the 11th pick in the draft:

Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN

"… I love what they got in Fields, my second-ranked quarterback, who would be in the discussion at No. 1 overall in any other year … He should not have been on the board past the top 10. Now, Chicago gets its long-term starter, a quarterback the fan base has craved for years … Fields will also have one of the league's most underrated stars to throw to in wide receiver Allen Robinson … give credit to general manager Ryan Pace, who was aggressive here ... If Fields plays the way I think he will, the trade will be worth it." | READ

Mark Potash, Chicago Sun-Times

"Fittingly, Fields got the call from [Matt] Nagy when the Bears made their decision. "Coach Nagy called me up and asked me if I was ready to be a Chicago Bear and I told him, 'Of course,'" Fields said. "Their relationship is the key to the Bears' hopes of heading upward instead of downward after an 8-8 season. 'Coach Nagy's a great coach. He's a great person,' Fields said. 'I got to sort of build a relationship with him these past couple of months.' Hopefully, that's just the start." | READ

Brad Biggs, Chicago Tribune

"When Fields moved outside the top 10, it made a trade up less costly for Pace and again allowed him to keep nearly all his draft assets in place this year to get help Friday, with wide receiver, offensive line, cornerback and inside linebacker looming as needs. The Bears currently pick 52nd overall in Round 2 and No. 83 in Round 3. With Fields, the Bears get a winner from a big-time program, a passer with a big arm and the athletic ability to threaten defenses with his legs." | READ

Dan Wiederer, Chicago Tribune

"As fate would have it, a little before midnight Thursday night Pace was beaming on a Zoom call with reporters, enthused by the realization that the night couldn't have gone much better. The Bears got exactly what they wanted, engineering a trade with the New York Giants, leaping up nine spots and selecting Ohio State's Justin Fields. Just like that, the franchise snagged its newest quarterback of the future, nabbing a prospect who many talent evaluators believe has true star potential. Pace began his endorsement of Fields with three "a's": arm strength, accuracy and athleticism." | READ

Adam Jahns, The Athletic

"It's a great pick after a great move. Sure, it was costly, but the Bears had more urgency to act the longer that Fields was available. The Bears couldn't leave this draft without a quarterback, and they got one in Fields, who is arguably as good or better than quarterbacks Zach Wilson and Trey Lance, the second and third picks by the Jets and 49ers, respectively." | READ

Jeff Dickerson, ESPN Chicago

"Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace had to swing for the fences with Fields available at No. 11. The Bears paid a hefty price (including next year's first-round pick) to move up nine spots for Fields, but the payoff could be enormous. The Bears are confident the proper infrastructure is in place to mold a young quarterback. On Tuesday, Pace waxed poetic about how so many of Chicago's current offensive coaches -- head coach Matt Nagy, offensive coordinator Bill Lazor and quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo -- are former quarterbacks themselves. The Bears also believe the quarterback room with [Andy] Dalton and Nick Foles will be a positive place for Fields to learn and develop. | READ

Chad Reuter, NFL.com

"GM Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy moved up nine spots with the Giants and sent a 2021 fifth-rounder and 2022 first- and fourth-round picks to get their future quarterback -- and I'm here for it … [Fields] is a leader and strong-armed passer who will give the Bears the difference-maker at quarterback that they have missed for many, many years." | READ

Cynthia Frelund, NFL.com

"Fields, my second-highest-rated quarterback in this draft, lands in a situation that projects for LOTS of success. Paired with Matt Nagy, a top-third O-line and less pressure to start immediately (thanks to Andy Dalton), the conditions are primed for upside potential. Fields had the best clean-pocket TD-to-INT ratio (54:4) in the FBS over since his freshman year in 2018, per Pro Football Focus. Clean pockets approximate the best a QB can do because they represent the easiest conditions to succeed under and give us a baseline to measure against when conditions aren't ideal.

"Fields hit deep passes (20-plus-air-yard attempts) at a 50 percent clip since 2019 (PFF, sixth-best), and when we combine that with his play-action prowess (146.4 passer rating in 2020, third-best) and his 55.5 percent completion percentage on the run (10-plus-air-yard attempts), we get several clues as to how his skills will translate to success at the next level. One area he adds to the Bears QB playbook is in the run game, with his 630 rushing yards and five TDs off scrambles … Fields adds 3.71 wins to the Bears' total in 2021 ... and presumably a lot more in the future." | READ

With the 11th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Bears select Ohio State QB Justin Fields.

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