It comes as no surprise that Justin Fields was meant to be great in the NFL. Now, he’s one of the NFL’s most exciting young players. Let’s take a look to see how we got to this point.
As soon as Justin Fields started playing sports, it was evident Fields was a freakish athlete. At Harrison High School in Kennesaw, Georgia, Fields put on a show in not just one sport, but two: football and baseball. Fields’ impressive athletic ability led him to take over the top spot at quarterback on the varsity squad. In his two years, Fields put up electric numbers that would get him recruited by several schools. In both his Junior and Senior Years of high school Fields recorded 4187 yards, 41 touchdowns to only 8 interceptions. On the ground, Fields racked up 2096 rushing yards with 28 touchdowns! During his high school playing time, Fields received countless offers from schools around the nation as he was dubbed the 2nd best overall player in the country, just behind Trevor Lawerence.
Being in the national spotlight, Fields began receiving recruitment letters from schools all over the country including NC State, Yale, Northwestern, Oregon and many others. Eventually Fields decided to commit to Penn State, but ultimately decommitted from the school before committing to the University of Georgia.
Fields started off his college career with minimal playing time as the backup to now-Washington Commanders quarterback Jake Fromm. Fields, wanting more playing time to prove his skill set, ultimately set out to transfer before committing to The Ohio State University. Fields, as many now, put up record, video game-like numbers with the Buckeyes, posting 5373 passing yards, 63 touchdowns to only 9 interceptions. With his legs, Fields impressed with 867 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. Fields only ever suffered two losses in his college careers where he was the starter, both of which came in the College Football Playoff. A Heisman Trophy Finalist in 2019, Justin Fields began to be placed into “NFL Draft Predictions” as a statement of him officially declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft was announced.
Eventually, Fields finally declared for the 2021 NFL Draft, and many experts had him labeled as the second-best, maybe even the best player available in the 2021 NFl Draft. Fields entered the draft with other big-name players from the 2020 college football season including Trevor Lawrence, the Clemson standout. Also, dubbed first-round talents were Mac Jones from Alabama, Zach Wilson out of BYU, and Trey Lance from North Dakota State University.The Jacksonville Jaguars held the first overall pick where they drafted Trevor Lawrence, the presumed first overall pick. Lawrence is the only quarterback to be questioned with Fields in regard to who is the better player. At this point in the draft, many analysts were waiting to see if Fields would be next, considering the fact that he was the “second-best” player available. But that didn’t happen. Zach Wilson went second overall to the New York Jets. The third overall pick also had lots of anticipation as the San Francisco 49ers had traded into that spot. Rumors had announced that the pick was either Trey Lance or Mac Jones. The 49ers ended up taking quarterback Trey Lance 3rd overall to many analysts’ surprise. Fields still sat at home waiting for his name to be called. The next set of quarterbacks slated to be taken were either Fields or Mac Jones. Not necessarily all of the teams that were on the draft board were in need of a quarterback. A couple teams, like the Denver Broncos, took cornerback Patrick Surtain II out of Alabama, despite possibly needing a quarterback.
At the point of the 11th pick, a couple minutes had passed. Surprisingly, the Giants pick suddenly faded away from everyone’s TV screens and was replaced by the orange of the Chicago Bears. At that moment, many analysts knew their choice had to be quarterback, and that quarterback had to be Justin Fields. Former Bears GM Ryan Pace had seen the Fields had dropped in the draft and decided to pull the trigger to bring the dual-threat QB to the Bears. Fields was a Chicago Bear.
NFL – Chicago Bears
As soon as Fields was drafted to Chicago, the city was very excited to have drafted such a highly-regarded quarterback like Fields to the Windy City. The Bears have gone through quarterback after quarterback, seeming to fail time after time again to find a sustainable franchise QB. Fields restored hope in Bears fans as he was deemed to be different, in a good way, than most quarterbacks. Despite the high draft pick, Fields did not play right away as veteran QB Andy Dalton was promised the starting job. Fields and Dalton were both good sports about it, supporting each other through their playing time, but Fields eventually took over after an Andy Dalton injury and was later named the starter for the rest of the season. Unfortunately, Fields’s rookie season did not go as planned. He posted only 7 touchdowns to 10 interceptions, but that was not necessarily all his fault, Fields was put into play as a young rookie in a different offense and played for Matt Nagy, who was not the best play caller he could’ve been. Nonetheless, Fields finished out the season and began to get ready for the 2022 NFL Season.
2022 NFL Season – Chicago Bears
Fields started slowly, statistically, but eventually has caught up to speed, playing at an impressive speed as of recent. As recent as post-week 9, Fields has put up 10 touchdowns to 6 interceptions, but has truly progressed. On the ground, Fields is the leading rusher on the team. Yes, Justin Fields, a quarterback, is the leading rusher on the Chicago Bears. In Week 9, Fields proved he is a capable dual-threat quarterback, adding 3 passing touchdowns on the game against the Dolphins while scrambling for a record-breaking 178 rushing yards in one game and a touchdown.
So far, Justin Fields is proving to be the best quarterback in his draft class in both terms of leading his team to winning and statistically. And as time goes on, my firm belief is that Fields will go on to continue to make all the teams that passed on him in the Draft regret their decision. And that’s why Bears fans should be excited about the future of their team, especially offensively. Now to wait and see how Poles supports Fields with $100 million in cap space next year.