Why Giants were essential to Bears landing Justin Fields originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
A couple of weeks later, and it still seems improbable that the Bears were able to land Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields with the No. 11 overall pick. But the Bears may have been even more fortunate than we imagined to find a trade partner in the Giants, because according to Albert Breer, the Bears had tried to move up higher, but were rebuffed. Plus, several circumstances had to come together to ensure Fields’ fall down draft boards.
“I think, based on my conversations before and after the draft, the Bears have to be ecstatic they got Justin Fields at No. 11,” Breer said. “And that’s because a lot of his fall was circumstantial. Before the draft, I had a handful of teams that either weren’t going to be in position to take Fields, or didn’t have a need at quarterback, who had the Ohio State quarterback as the second guy in the class. Then, if you look at the Panthers’ and Broncos’ decisions coming down to their respective top defensive players in the class vs. Fields (which I think is where both those teams were), and you look at the Bengals’ wanting to add one of the draft’s very elite (precluding a trade down), Miami’s having already moved up to No. 6 and Sewell’s falling into the Lions’ laps, you’ll see how the slide from No. 5 to No. 9 happened. From there, Dallas wasn’t going to trade back further than a few spots, because of the dropoff in talent in the class in the mid-teens, and that brings you to the Giants at No. 11, the spot the Bears (who’d talked to Dallas) wound up trading into. So add it up and you had six teams that either weren’t taking a quarterback, or would’ve picked Fields if they had, that didn’t want to move down.
“Good fortune for Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy, and now we’ll see how it plays out.”
After the Bears at 11, the Cowboys did make their pick— Micah Parsons. Then the Chargers drafted tackle Rashawn Slater, and they were not likely to pass on him and move back. After the Chargers, the Vikings were slated to pick, and various reports say they had their eyes on Fields if he fell to No. 14.
So if the Pace couldn’t come to an agreement with Giants GM Dave Gettleman, they might have missed their chance to draft Fields entirely.