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Justin Fields was QB1 of 2021 draft, per 8 NFL scouts

Report: 25% of NFL scouts think Fields top QB in ’21 class originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

General consensus says the Bears made one of the best moves of the 2021 NFL Draft by trading up to select Justin Fields. But almost no one went as far as to say the Bears got the best quarterback in the draft. From practically the first day after the 2020 Draft, Trevor Lawrence was dubbed the presumptive No. 1 overall pick, with Fields ranked anywhere from the second-best quarterback to the sixth-best quarterback in the class.

But according to Cynthia Frelund, several NFL teams saw it differently.

“I spoke to a number of scouts who told me their actual grades,” Frelund said after the first round. “(Fields) was QB1 for about half of them. I talked to 16, so that’s 8.”

There you have it. At least a quarter of the league had Fields slotted ahead of Trevor Lawrence. If things pan out that way, Ryan Pace selected Fields at No. 11 won’t only be the best pick of the draft, it could be the best pick of the decade.

“This is a guy who adds an element of a run game,” Frelund said. “Five scrambling touchdowns, 636 scrambling yards. He has the clean pocket, best passer situation: 54 touchdowns, just four interceptions from that clean pocket. And a chance to develop. And a chance to make Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace have long-term job security situations for the Bears as well.”

Nagy and Pace were each on the hot (at least from many outsiders’ perspectives) following the Bears’ lackluster Wild Card loss to the Saints, but by picking Fields each man seems to have earned a little longer runway to build a Super Bowl team in Chicago.

Now we just have to wait and see if Pace, Nagy and Fields can combine to deliver a Lombardi trophy in the next few years.

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