Bears' Eddie Jackson on Justin Fields: 'About Time We Got Us a Real Quarterback'April 30, 2021
Chicago Bears safety Eddie Jackson applauded the team's selection of Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields with the No. 11 pick in the 2021 NFL draft on Thursday night, while also taking a shot at the franchise's previous failed attempts to fill the void.
"About time we got us a real quarterback. How about them Bears?" Jackson said on Instagram Live.
The Bears entered the night as an unlikely destination for one of the class' top five quarterback prospects. They owned the 20th overall selection in Round 1 and had signed Andy Dalton in free agency to compete with fellow veteran Nick Foles.
That didn't stop Chicago general manager Ryan Pace from making a bold move. The team traded No. 20 along with a fifth-round pick this year and next year's first- and fourth-round selections to move up nine spots for the right to take Fields.
The question becomes whether the Ohio State standout will start right away after Dalton said on signing he was promised the top spot on the depth chart.
"They told me I was the starter," Dalton told reporters in March. "That was one of the reasons why I wanted to come here. So every conversation I've had has been that, so that's the assurance that I've gotten."
Pace confirmed that remains the plan despite the addition of Fields.
"Matt [Nagy] has spoken to Andy Dalton tonight; that communication and clarity for us is really important," Pace said. "Andy is our starter, and we're gonna have a really good plan in place to develop Justin and do what's best for our organization and win games."
That said, it'll be tough to explain to a fanbase, not to mention defenders like Jackson, who have eagerly awaited a fresh start under center why a 33-year-old journeyman is starting over Fields if the rookie lights it up during training camp and the preseason.
It would be a surprise if the first-round pick doesn't take over the offense during the 2021 campaign, and it'll probably happen sooner rather than later.