A Quarterback Who Can Move

Bears gave up next year's first-round pick a fourth-rounder next year and fifth-rounder this year besides their own pick at No. 20 to take Justin Fields.
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The Bears could only wait so long in Round 1 of the NFL Draft and finally had to jump up for their quarterback of the future.

With both Justin Fields and Mac Jones sliding down past the top 10, the Bears traded up from 20 to No. 11 with the New York Giants and took Fields as their first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

They gave up their first-round pick and a fourth-round pick next year and their fifth-rounder this year, in addition to the 20th pick, in order to make the pick.

The Bears waited through the first three picks and when San Francisco took North Dakota State's Trey Lance at No. 3, it set up slides for both Fields and Alabama's Mac Jones.

Fields will be considered a risk by some because of reports he suffers from epilepsy, although he did not miss any playing time from it and has been bothered less and less by it as he's grown older. Doctors believe he may grow out of it entirely.

Fields started his career at Georgia and got into 12 games as a freshman with 12 completions in 27 attempts for 328 yards and four TDs.

He transferred to Ohio State and completed 68.4% in two seasons (396 of 579) and averaged 9.3 yards an attempt. He threw for 41 touchdowns with three interceptions in 2019 when he was third for the Heisman, then last year had 22 TDs and six interceptions.

Fields finished his college career with 67 TD throws, nine interceptions, 5,701 yards and 9.2 yards per attempt.

Fields' speed in a 40-yard dash clocking at his pro day sounded like a wide receiver's. He ran a 4.4 but was not necessarily a quarterback who ran a great deal for the Buckeyes. He ran for 1,133 yards on 260 carries in three seasons, including 484 yards and 10 TDs in 2019.

There are concerns about Fields beyond the epilepsy report. Scouting reports indicated problems reading zone defenses at times. His team's win for the Big Ten title was a good example of this, as they beat Northwestern but Fields struggled to get the ball downfield. He was only 12 of 27 for 114 yards with two interceptions and no TDs. However, he bounced back with a game for the ages against Clemson, going 22 of 28 for 385 yards in the national semifinals, with six touchdowns and one interception.

Again he struggled in the title game, going 17 of 33 for 194 yards and a TD.

Fields is from Kennesaw, Ga. His father, Pablo Fields, was a linebacker at Eastern Kentucky and is an Atlanta police officer. His sister, Jaiden, plays softball at Georgia.

Fields had initially committed to Penn State before going to Georgia. He was stuck behind Jake Fromm on the depth chart and decided to transfer.

Since the season ended, Fields has been training with his personal quarterback coach, Ron Veal, who also trains top pick Trevor Lawrence.

BearDigest.com will have more on the picks after GM Ryan Pace and Fields meet with the media late Friday night.

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