The Chicago Bears have the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, but they should refrain from trading Justin Fields because of that. When the Bears clinched the top pick in the upcoming draft, speculation started swirling about the idea of the Bears trading Fields since the new regime in Chicago has no ties to the second year quarterback.
Ryan Poles, GM of the Bears, indicated that they’d have to be blown away to consider taking a quarterback. The top quarterback prospects in 2023 appear to be Bryce Young of Alabama and CJ Stroud of Ohio State.
Two different quarterbacks with two different skillsets, but both are quite impressive in their own right. However, would either “blow away” Poles and co. enough to trade Justin Fields? To me, even if they’re super impressed with one or both of them, or even another quarterback prospect, they should hold onto Fields.
Despite being protected by desktops and lawn chairs and throwing to crockpots and printers, Fields was able to make noticeable progress from year one to year two, and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy was able to unleash what he could do with his legs.
In year one, Fields completed 58.9% of his passes for 1,870 yards, seven touchdowns, 10 interceptions, a rating of 73.2, and added 420 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.
In year two, Fields completed 60.4% of his passes for 2,242 yards, 17 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, a rating of 85.2, and added 1,143 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns.
It’s clear that Fields made a massive leap both as a passer and a rusher, and his supporting cast is mediocre at best.
It would be wise for the Chicago Bears to use their first round pick to improve the situation around Fields. Perhaps since there isn’t an offensive prospect outside of quarterback worth taking first overall, Chicago would consider trading down from the top pick to acquire even more capital.
Loading up on offensive talent in the draft and in free agency with their mountain of cap space would be a smart idea. In the NFL, instant gratification is taking over the league, and young quarterbacks are almost being required to show early signs of being great or else they’re dumped.
However, it’s also a responsibility on the part of their teams to put them in adequate situations to make a fair evaluation, and so far, the Chicago Bears have not yet put Fields in that situation.