Prior to the draft, I gave quarterback (QB) Justin Fields my QB1 rating on my draft board. I really liked what Fields showed on film at Ohio State.
The only QB I felt was of equal caliber was QB Mac Jones (my QB2) who went to New England. It was close, but I gave the slight edge to Fields due to him being a true dual-threat both as a passer and as a runner. It was easy to look past the nonsense on social media about “all the former Ohio State QB’s who had struggled in the NFL,” and instead I just focus on Fields’ film. Fields was very impressive. I loved what I saw in his eyes. He struck me as being very smart, decisive, determined and a focused signal caller. He also showed he could make quick decisions and he placed the ball well on his throws.
While everyone else was salivating over QB’s Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson and Trey Lance, I was not. My sights were set on Fields, who struck me as being the most pro-ready QB of the draft class. I felt strongly he would give whichever team that selected him the best chance to win now because his ability to run further negated any offensive line blocking deficiencies of a team selecting in the top 10.
Fields somehow – – someway dropped to No. 11 overall. As soon as I saw the pick, I said to myself, “Fields may very well turn out to be the best QB in Bears’ franchise history, or at least since I had been watching over the past 40 years.”
As I look through all the articles in training camp, everything I am reading continues to support my thoughts on Fields and my pre-draft scouting report on him. I am hearing many impressive things about Fields both on and off the field. Fields sounds super serious about his role with his new team. In fact, Bears’ general manager Ryan Pace was quoted as saying that Fields “is in the building 24/7.”
It takes a lot more than hype, a good public relations firm, a great agent, and an arm to win in the National Football League – – the game is won or lost from the neck up. So far, Fields is showing he has what it takes. His dedication to the game is evident in Pace’s quote.
Bears’ head coach, Matt Nagy, has also echoed Pace’s sentiments by sharing how serious Fields is about learning Chicago’s playbook, which is another great sign in his development. Fields has even used time other players typically vacation instead for playbook study.
Positives keep pouring in from the practice field too, where everyone seems impressed by Fields ability to throw and run.
Do not be shocked if Chicago is the surprise team in the NFC this year – – all because of #1 Justin Fields.
Daniel Kelly is a former NFL scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions and he is a contributing evaluator for Draft Diamonds. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @danielkellybook and his Facebook page is WHATEVER IT TAKES NFL TALK.