Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields could've been a Detroit Lion. He was right there for the taking when the Lions' first-round selection rolled around at No. 7 overall.
Detroit general manager Brad Holmes instead opted to select Oregon offensive lineman Penei Sewell with the pick. Sewell's a potentially franchise-altering lineman. So, there was little-to-no issue from the Lions fanbase with the organization going in that direction.
The only problem is that the team that decided to select Fields is an NFC North franchise.
The Chicago Bears, in an attempt to move past their well-documented, prolonged quarterback issues, traded up nine spots with the N.Y. Giants to draft the Buckeyes product at No. 11 overall.
So, yes, that means Fields has a chance to terrorize the Lions twice a season.
He comes to the Bears with a list full of credentials, too.
For starters, he was a Heisman finalist in 2019. Then, in the COVID-19-abbreviated 2020 campaign, he finished with 158 completions on 225 attempts, 2,100 passing yards, 22 touchdowns and six interceptions. For his efforts, he won the Big Ten Player of the Year for the second straight season.
Additionally, he led Ohio State to a 20-2 record and to back-to-back College Football Playoff appearances for the first time in school history.
Impressively, Fields had his most dominant game of this past season against Clemson in the CFP semifinals.
He outdueled 2021 No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence en route to a 49-28 thrashing of the Tigers, and threw for six touchdowns and 385 yards on 22-of-28 passing.
If any one game from the '20 season solidified Fields' status as a top quarterback in this year's draft class, it was that performance against Lawrence & Co.
Fields, at just 22 years old, has the potential of being a solid NFL franchise passer for the next decade, if not longer.
So, it made all the sense in the world for a quarterback-hungry team like the Bears to trade up to select him.
However, it also made all the sense in the world for Holmes & Co. to pass on him in order to draft Sewell.
It's not every draft where a generational talent at offensive tackle falls right into a team's lap.
So, in my estimation, Detroit had no choice but to take the 2019 Outland Trophy winner at No. 7.
So, sure, Fields might put up a big game against the Lions on an annual basis. But, I don't exactly see the decision to pass on him haunting the franchise over the long-term future.
I put the odds of it happening at 35 percent.