2021 NFL Draft: Grading every first-round pick after rookie year

Jan 9, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) throws the ball during the first half against the Indianapolis Colts at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 9, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) throws the ball during the first half against the Indianapolis Colts at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports /
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2021 NFL Draft
Dec 20, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) looks to pass the ball against the Minnesota Vikings during the first quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports /

Grading every rookie from the 2021 NFL Draft: Justin Fields, QB, Chicago Bears

2021 stats:

  • 1,870 passing yards
  • 7 TDs, 10 INTs
  • 58.9 completion percentage
  • 73.2 passer rating
  • 420 Yards Rushing
  • 2 rushing TD

It was a bit surprising to see Justin Fields last until pick No. 11, especially since he was a better prospect than Zach Wilson and Trey Lance for years. But that’s how things fell and the Chicago Bears felt comfortable enough at this point to make a move.

They traded their selection in this round, No. 20 overall, as well as their first-rounder in 2022 to the New York Giants to move up to No. 11. New York reportedly wanted DeVonta Smith but after the Eagles leapfrogged them to grab the Alabama wideout, they decided to drop down and add another pick.

For the Bears, they finally brought in a quarterback they could believe in with Justin Fields. But in year one, things weren’t great for the rookie quarterback who had to deal with Matt Nagy as the head coach.

Nagy tried to go with Andy Dalton as the starter and when Fields took over, he seemed like a bad fit in his offense. With Nagy out, Matt Eberflus takes over and turns the offense over to Luke Getsy who comes from the Packers coaching tree.

The hope is that he will be able to get more out of Fields who flashed some playmaking skill with his legs as a rookie but needs to get better at making his reads and pushing the ball down the field.

Grade: C+