The Chicago Bears' third installment of "Meet the Rookies" focuses on Justin Fields. The team traded up nine spots from 20th to 11th to draft the quarterback in 2021. The Bears were able to select Fields after a handful of teams needing quarterbacks ahead of them passed on the Ohio State product. Nevertheless, the Bears stand to benefit from the mistakes of those teams.
Fields originally started his collegiate career at Georgia. After seeing minimal playing time, he decided to transfer to Ohio State, where he excelled. It should come as no surprise that Fields would thrive given the opportunity -- he's built different and those around him knew it. Physically, Fields has all the necessary traits to play the part, but it's his mentality that will set him apart from the rest.
Being a franchise quarterback in Chicago can be a lot to handle. The city is thirsting for a star to walk through the door and actually back up the hype, thus attracting quite a bright spotlight. But Fields might be the one that can handle the hype, as he's been on the national stage since high school.
In 2017, Fields was featured in Netflix's "QB1: Beyond the Lights", a documentary series that focuses on select high school senior quarterbacks. The 22-year-old seems comfortable with a hefty amount of attention on him.
"Having that spotlight there, you know at a young age. It wasn't anything crazy. I really didn't let it get to my head at all. I just try to stay humble as possible. All those spotlight moments have helped me become the person I am today," Fields said.
Those comments aren't just lip service either. Fields went on to play at Georgia and at Ohio State, where the spotlight is bright and the pressure is immense. Across three seasons between the two schools, Fields completed 68.4% of his passes for 5,701 yards and 67 touchdowns while throwing just nine interceptions. He added 1,133 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground as well. Fields' resume includes two Big Ten championships, 2019 and 2020 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year honors, two first-team all-conference selections, and two College Football Playoff appearances.
"Big Stage" Mentality
Justin Fields begins his "Meet The Rookies" video by saying, "I was made to play on a big stage. Big stages...they show where the real ballers come out and play."
In lockstep with his overall demeanor, Fields makes it clear he wants to be playing in the big games and wants to take on that pressure. That sentiment bodes well for him and the city of Chicago. The Windy City has been a place starving for elite-level quarterback play with that kind of mindset. Therefore, the rookie quarterback should fit in nicely.
His dad even mentioned that Ohio State's 2019 visit to Northwestern and the vibe of the city made him ponder the possibility of Justin playing in Chicago. "Man, wouldn't it be great if Justin played here."
The Bears are getting a gamer in their 2021 first-round draft pick. Justin Fields is a big, physical quarterback with all the necessary traits and intangibles. Fields seems like a fantastic leader on and off the field as well. In fact, his competitive nature and sense of confidence seems unshakable.
"I'm competitive in everything I do. I don't like losing at all."
- Justin Fields
Additionally, Fields is a humble, down-to-earth kind of guy who seems ready to ready embrace Chicago and the pressures of being a quarterback in this town.
"I'm definitely ready. I think if there was anybody in this draft class that was ready for this position, I think there was nobody else but me to be honest with you. I've been groomed for this moment my whole life."
If you missed any previous installments of the Bears "Meet The Rookies" series, we have you covered here at On Tap Sports Net. Click the links below for analysis of other rookies who have already been featured.