How many teams, including the Jets, regret bypassing Bears QB Justin Fields in the draft?


The Bears traded up for Mitch Trubisky with the second overall pick in the 2017 Draft and created a permanent punchline as eventual megastar Patrick Mahomes went to the Chiefs after eight picks. .

Coming out alone at Soldier Field, Mahomes was mocking the Punks and counting to 10 on his fingers after rushing for a touchdown en route to eventual championship.

The Bears get an infinite eyeroll for that error.

But they seem to be laughing at how several teams declined the chance to get Justin Fields in the 2021 draft. won Zach Wilson in 2nd place, all the way to 11th place.

It’s possible that neither Fields nor Wilson will play when the Bears visit the Jets on Sunday, but for very different reasons. Fields is in a seven-game tear that has pushed the franchise’s hopes to new heights, with a separated left (non-throwing) shoulder, but Wilson’s straight to sputter on the field and the mic. It is placed on a bench.

Things have gotten so bad for the Jets that manager Robert Saleh said Wilson needs a “reset” because he can’t fix the fundamentals and prepare for the game at the same time.

“Zack’s career here is not over,” Saleh insisted. “This is not driving nails into his coffin.”

If it gets to the point where the coach feels the need to say it publicly, it’s a mess.

Imagine that was the conversation over Fields in the middle of the second season.

Instead, he asserted himself again within that draft class. He stands where he was a college star. Trevor Lawrence is at the top. Both have hard evidence as the NFL’s most promising second-year quarterbacks.

Lawrence is the more prolific passer, while Fields is the best running quarterback in the league. Lawrence is averaging 251.2 combined passing and rushing yards and 16 total touchdowns this season for the Jaguars, while Fields is averaging 225.1 yards for 20 total yards.

Mack Jones has the best passer rating at 89.3, but when the Patriots benched him during a game last month, the Bears realized how precarious his job security was.

Fields is nearly 10 points better than Wilson in his career passer rating and has nearly half of his starts under Matt Nagy. It’s hard to read 49ers quarterback Trey Lance, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 draft. He missed the season with a broken ankle and played just eight games.

It was a loaded but strange draft at that position. Lawrence and Fields were sports stars. Jones had just won Alabama. However, like the North Dakota native Lance, Wilson shot the draft board despite being relatively untested at BYU.

Lawrence maintained his position as one of the most coveted quarterbacks in recent draft history, taking first place, but Fields trailed Wilson and Lance.

After Lance finished third in San Francisco, several teams in need of a quarterback bypassed Fields: the Falcons, Lions, Panthers and Broncos. they were not sold.

The Broncos eventually sent two first- and two second-round picks to the Seahawks to get Russell Wilson, but now wish they hadn’t. The other three teams are still searching.

Entering this season, the Texans’ Davis Mills, a third-round pick from Stanford in 2021, was statistically ahead of Fields across the board. Now it’s not even close.

Fields had no guarantees when the Bears fired everyone who helped draft him and brought in general manager Ryan Pauls and coach Matt Everfuls. Now, it’s hard to imagine the Bears spending a potential top-five pick at quarterback in the upcoming draft.

Fields’ leap forward is a credit to his own growth and skill, but it’s also a result of the Bears cleaning up a terribly bad fit between him and Nagy and bringing in Everfluz and offensive coordinator Luke Getzi.

Nagy made the same mistake with Fields that Trubisky did by alienating him from a style of play that had worked for him his entire football life. They repeatedly heard “Victory out of pocket”. Nagy probably sewed it onto a cushion in his office.

At Harras Hall, it’s no longer a maxim.

Getsy is the first-ever NFL offensive coordinator and Eberflus is the first-ever head coach, and while neither have handled everything perfectly this season, their willingness to adjust shows that Fields is showing his talents. opened the door for

He responded with a run that could change the course of the franchise. The Bears are averaging 25.3 points over their last seven games, up from his 16 points in his first four games and his 21 points throughout the Nagy era.

If Fields and Wilson stay on their current trajectory, the Jets will join a growing list of teams who can’t believe they missed out on such a dynamic talent.


What do you think?

Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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