Bears GM backs Fields, would need to be 'blown away' to take QB 1st overall
Justin Fields, selected 11th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft by former GM Ryan Pace, was Chicago's starter this year when healthy.
"Yeah, we had good conversations," Poles said when asked if Fields will continue to be the starter. "I'm excited for the direction he's going. He knows where he needs to improve."
The Bears earned the No. 1 pick after they lost to the Minnesota Vikings and the Houston Texans beat the Indianapolis Colts in Week 18, securing Chicago's league-worst record.
Alabama's Bryce Young, Ohio State's C.J. Stroud, Kentucky's Will Levis, and Florida's Anthony Richardson are considered the top QB prospects in this year's draft. If the Bears elect to continue with Fields as their starter, then defenders Will Anderson Jr. (Alabama) and Jalen Carter (Georgia) could be in play for the first overall pick. Chicago could also trade the top selection to a QB-needy team.
In 25 starts, Fields has a 5-20 record, 4,112 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, and 21 interceptions. The 23-year-old is a major threat with his legs, accumulating 1,563 rushing yards and 10 scores on the ground. His 1,143 rushing yards in 2022 are the second-most all time by a QB in a single season, trailing only Lamar Jackson's 1,206 from his 2019 MVP campaign.