The 2021 NFL Draft has come and gone, and five quarterbacks came off the board in the top-15. Among the most baffling was Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields falling all the way to the 11th overall pick where the Chicago Bears swooped him up. This is a move that will haunt the Minnesota Vikings for years to come.
Courtney Cronin of ESPN reported that the Vikings had their sights set on Fields with the 14th overall pick of the draft. However, they remained at their position, hoping he fell. The rest was history as their division rival jumped them to take Fields.
"“The Vikings were stunned, and this one really stung. They wanted one of the top quarterbacks, but they weren’t desperate enough to give up that kind of draft capital for a player who would be sitting behind Cousins for at least a year.But Fields was the guy for Minnesota, and the team was prepared to take him if he had been there at No. 14 and begin a process of shifting course.”"
The Vikings then went on to trade back before selecting offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw in the first round, then selecting Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond in the third round.
Vikings a reminder to be aggressive to get your QB
Make no mistake about it. To everyone except Chris Simms and his suspect rankings, there is a steep dropoff from the play of Fields to that of Mond. Starting with their accuracy, Fields is the most accurate passer in this class, while Mond’s on-target percentage over his last five games fell below 60 percent.
Even beyond the accuracy, Mond and Fields may have great athletic ability, but the arm of Fields is much more talented. Working through progressions, a false narrative surrounding Fields, the Ohio State quarterback is the most accurate gunslinger beyond his first read as well. The slip of Fields was baffling for a number of reasons, but for Minnesota to passively hope he fell into their laps is staggering.
Instead, they will now have to face Fields twice a year as the Chicago Bears were not passive in landing him. They moved up to the 11th pick in the draft in order to land the former Buckeye, a move that very well could save the jobs of general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy.
Don’t sit back and hope your quarterback falls to you. Take a page out of the playbook of the Bears and San Francisco 49ers and go up and get your guy. Do not be surprised to see the Vikings back in the market for a quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft.