The 2021 NFL Draft was not short of drama during the first round. Some players fell like always, and trades were made. Perhaps the most notable trade was the Chicago Bears trading up with the New York Giants to snag their new quarterback, Ohio State star Justin Fields.
— NFL (@NFL) April 30, 2021
The Bears watched Mitchell Trubisky go this offseason and brought in Andy Dalton. However, Fields falling to 11 was simply too hard for the Bears to pass up. What they gave up seems like a lot, although it will be worth it for their next quarterback.
Giants trade: Pick 11
Bears trade: Pick 20, 164, 2022 first-round pick and 2022 fourth-round pick.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 30, 2021
A big trade for both sides, and here are the grades for both teams.
New York Giants
The Giants didn’t need a quarterback if they truly believe in Daniel Jones. With both Fields and Mac Jones falling, picking up the phones was the right call. They didn’t have anybody they were zeroed in on, apparently. Instead, the Giants got a first in 2022 as well as a fourth. All they did was move back nine spots and got extra capital in the 2021 NFL Draft.
For what it’s worth, a report came out about NFL execs overvaluing 2022 picks, due to the tough situations in 2021 regarding the NFL combine. Some even referred to them “like Gold”, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
One storyline to watch over the next three days: The value of 2022 Draft picks is sky high. “Like gold,” as one executive described. There should be more talent, cleaner evaluations, more tape. We could see an all-time low of future picks dealt.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 29, 2021
So, the Giants moved back a few spots and gained a first for 2022. They ended up taking Kadarius Toney at No. 20, getting a wide receiver they had apparently wanted to give Jones more weapons.
All in all, terrific move by the Giants, and that first alone is worth a ton.
For the Bears, this was their ideal scenario. Fields was rumored to go in the top three, even the top two for months. He was pegged as the second-best quarterback in the class before the New York Jets ventured and fell in love with Zach Wilson. Then the San Francisco 49ers took Trey Lance and the Atlanta Falcons took Kyle Pitts.
After that, the Denver Broncos also passed on Fields and the Bears simply couldn’t wait any longer. While giving up a first might be questionable or seem like an overpay for a slight move up, if Fields ends up being the guy in Chicago for the next half dozen years, it’s absolutely worth it.
Welcome to Chicago, Justin Fields
— PFF College (@PFF_College) April 30, 2021
With weapons like Allen Robinson and Cole Kmet, as well as running backs David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen, Fields should succeed in Chicago. Even though the Bears signed Andy Dalton to a one-year deal, it appears that Fields should be able to come in and be the Day One starter.
Although some might say this is an overpay, Fields had been regarded by some as the next best QB prospect in the class behind Trevor Lawrence. After all, he played rather well in the College Football Playoff against Lawrence and the Clemson Tigers.
It’s a move that should pay dividends and a monumental upgrade over Dalton, Nick Foles, and Trubisky in what will be a welcome sign for Chicago fans.