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Bears GM: Have to Be 'Blown Away' to Draft QB No. 1; Fields Must Improve as Passer

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 10, 2023

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JANUARY 01: Justin Fields #1 of the Chicago Bears throws a pass in the second half of a game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on January 01, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)
Mike Mulholland/Getty Images

Justin Fields was the best thing about a rough 2022 season for the Chicago Bears, exciting fans with his dynamic scrambling and ability to extend plays.

And while general manager Ryan Poles told reporters Tuesday that Fields is expected to remain the team's starting quarterback, the Bears do hold the top pick in the 2023 NFL draft, with Alabama superstar Bryce Young available:

Adam Jahns @adamjahns

When asked, Bears GM Ryan Poles said he plans on QB Justin Fields being the team's starter next season.<br><br>He said that he has to be "absolutely blown away" to take a QB at No. 1.

"He has to get better as a passer," Poles also said of Fields.

Fields, 23, was dynamic in 2022, throwing for 2,242 yards, 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while completing 60.4 percent of his passes in 15 games. While those numbers didn't jump off the page, he also rushed for 1,143 yards and eight scores, electrifying the NFL community with some of the most explosive plays of the season.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Justin Fields making magic happen out of the pocket ⚡️ <a href="https://twitter.com/brgridiron?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@brgridiron</a> <br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/NFL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFL</a>)<a href="https://t.co/61TxDlDfua">pic.twitter.com/61TxDlDfua</a>

Chicago Bears @ChicagoBears

JUSTIN. FREAKING. FIELDS.<br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MIAvsCHI?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MIAvsCHI</a> on CBS <a href="https://t.co/jFMAg0BeH7">pic.twitter.com/jFMAg0BeH7</a>

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

JUSTIN FIELDS DUSTED THE WHOLE DEFENSE 💨<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/NFL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFL</a>)<a href="https://t.co/pb5uvz7Aey">pic.twitter.com/pb5uvz7Aey</a>

NFL @NFL

JUSTIN FIELDS DID IT AGAIN. <a href="https://twitter.com/justnfields?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@justnfields</a><br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GBvsCHI?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GBvsCHI</a> on FOX<br>📱: Stream on NFL+ <a href="https://t.co/P31SxnTZpJ">https://t.co/P31SxnTZpJ</a> <a href="https://t.co/5GBswuEvui">pic.twitter.com/5GBswuEvui</a>

NFL @NFL

JUSTIN FIELDS. INCREDIBLE RUN.<br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PHIvsCHI?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PHIvsCHI</a> on FOX<br>📱: Stream on NFL+ <a href="https://t.co/mzMHAEtgdH">https://t.co/mzMHAEtgdH</a> <a href="https://t.co/lNhAJ8eAWk">pic.twitter.com/lNhAJ8eAWk</a>

There's no doubt Fields has room to grow as a passer. But he put on a show in 2022.

"We're excited about his development and where it goes next," Poles told reporters.

The question now is what the Bears will do with the top overall pick.

They could look to trade it to a team hoping to jump ahead of the Houston Texans at No. 2 overall to select a quarterback like Young, earning a bounty of future picks in the process. They could keep the pick and select a quarterback themselves, though that seems unlikely. Or they could use it to address another need with dynamic prospects like Alabama edge-rusher Will Anderson or Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter.

The Bears have options. But they can't flub the selection.

"Whoever we get, hopefully it's somebody great," Bears safety Jaquan Brisker told reporters on Sunday. "It's time to turn it around. Really don't want to be on the side of having the No. 1 pick, but since we're here, it's that time to make the team better, get the organization better and change this thing around."

The Bears will also have a massive $118.1 million in cap space to improve the roster. So Poles has a busy, and hugely important, offseason ahead of him.

At the very least, the quarterback position seems to be addressed.