The Chicago Bears are on pace to have the first overall pick in the NFL Draft for a second consecutive year, and Justin Fields is once again trying to prove that they do not have to use it on a quarterback.
Fields will return to action against the Detroit Lions on Sunday after missing four games with a dislocated thumb. If he remains healthy for the remainder of the season, the Bears will have seven games to evaluate whether they believe Fields is the right player to lead them in 2024 and potentially beyond.
The Bears currently hold the Carolina Panthers’ first-round pick, which they acquired when they traded out of the top spot in the 2023 NFL Draft. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported on Sunday that Chicago’s brass views the upcoming NFL Draft the same way they viewed the 2023 draft. They would need to be “blown away” by a quarterback prospect to make the decision to move on from Fields, according to Rapoport.
Chicago acquired star wide receiver D.J. Moore as part of their draft trade with the Panthers last year. They feel they have put Fields in a position to succeed with a strong roster. The Bears this offseason will have to decide whether to pick up the fifth-year option on Fields’ rookie contract. If the former Ohio State star struggles down the stretch, that decision could become difficult.
Fields has 1,201 passing yards, 11 touchdowns and six interceptions in six games this season. He has also rushed for 237 yards and a score.