Bears execute plan, draft QB Fields after trade

NFL

The Chicago Bears traded up nine spots with the New York Giants to select QB Justin Fields with the No. 11 overall pick in the NFL draft on Thursday.

The Giants received Chicago’s first-round pick this year (No. 20), the Bears’ first-rounder next year, a fifth-round pick this year and a fourth-round pick in 2022.

Fields entered the draft as the No. 2-rated quarterback, according to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.

A two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the year, Fields becomes the second quarterback drafted by general manager Ryan Pace since he was hired in 2015. The Bears traded up a spot in 2017 to take Mitchell Trubisky at No. 2 over Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. Trubisky is now backing up Josh Allen in Buffalo after the Bears decided to let him go as a free agent.

Fields averaged 10.4 air yards per attempt in two seasons at Ohio State, the fifth-highest rate among qualified quarterbacks since 2019.

Fields also excelled on deep passes off play-action in 2020, completing 78.6% of his pass attempts of at least 20 air yards, the highest mark among 859 FBS passers with at least 10 attempts over the past 10 seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

After the Philadelphia Eagles jumped the Giants to take wide receiver DeVonta Smith, Dave Gettleman made the first trade back in his nine drafts as general manager for New York. He had never traded back in any round of the previous eight drafts as a GM with the Carolina Panthers and Giants.

The Giants received a hefty return for pick No. 11, something even they didn’t think possible prior to the draft. But Fields and Alabama quarterback Mac Jones fell out of the top 10. It allowed Gettleman to avoid getting fleeced, which he said last week was a reason he never traded back before, even though he had tried.

ESPN’s Jordan Raanan and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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