Heading into the 2021 NFL Draft on Thursday, there was plenty of speculation that the Chicago Bears might go after a quarterback and as it turns out, not only did they get one, but they pulled off possibly the most shocking trade of the first round to land him.
With the 11th overall pick, the Bears selected former Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. After watching Fields fall out of the top-10, the Bears decided to make their move. However, Chicago had to pay a steep price to make the jump from 20th overall to 11th overall, which was a pick that had been held by the Giants.
To move up nine spots, the Bears had to send their a 2022 first-round pick, a 2021 fifth-round pick and a 2022 fourth-round pick to New York. On top of that, the Giants also got Chicago's 20th overall pick in this year's draft. It was a monstrous haul for Giants general manager Dave Gettleman, who's not known for trading back.
Although the Bears paid a hefty price, it will have been completely worth it if Fields pans out in Chicago. The Bears have basically spent the past 50 years looking for an above-average starting quarterback. If you're wondering how bad things have been, the Bears didn't have a single quarterback throw for 4,000 yards or 30 touchdowns during the era of the 16-game schedule (1978-2020), making them the only team in the NFL that didn't hit those marks.
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Even though the Bears added Andy Dalton this offseason, general manager Ryan Pace didn't try to hide the fact that his team might try to land a quarterback in the draft.
"If we did draft a quarterback, it's a good room for sure," Pace said in the days leading up to the draft. "Both (Dalton and Nick Foles) have a lot of experience. A lot of different experiences, too. Which is good. The coaching staff that we have is strong as well. … But, again, we're just going to take the best players throughout this draft."
With Fields now on the roster, the biggest question in Chicago is pretty obvious: Who's going to be the Week 1 starter?
Back in early April, Pace said Dalton would definitely be the Bears' opening day starter, but that's something that could certainly change, especially if he gets outplayed by Fields in training camp.
As for the Giants, they're probably thrilled with how this trade turned out. They went into the draft with a lot of holes to fill and after watching three receivers and two corners go off the board with the first 10 picks, Gettleman clearly felt that he needed to trade out of the 11th spot, which was actually somewhat shocking, considering he had never before traded back during the first-round of a draft.
Both the Giants and the Bears made a bold move on Thursday and only time will tell if those bold moves will eventually pay off.