LOOK: Justin Fields projected to be one of the top rookie performers in NFL this fall

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Despite the Chicago Bears’ brass announcing that veteran Andy Dalton would be the starter this fall, with the plan of bringing along former Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, a lot of people aren’t buying it.

That’s because both general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy need to show that the organization has a plan for winning, by showing progress on the field. The team made the playoffs last season, but that was more smoke and mirrors than a team operating at peak performance.

The duo hasn’t been horrible with back-to-back 8-8 seasons, but the fanbase is looking for more, especially on offense. That leads many to believe that the Justin Fields era needs to start sooner rather than later in the Windy City, and ESPN’s Mike Clay agrees.

Clay projected the top ten rookie performers by category (subscription required) for the upcoming 2021-2022 season, and quarterback Justin Fields is right there in the mix among the top rookie QBs. That means he believes he’s getting on the field sooner rather than later.

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Here’s how Clay projects the top rookie quarterbacks for the 2021-2022 season. Enter Justin Fields into the fray.

NEXT … Projected Passing Yards for NFL rookie QBs

Projected Passing Yards for NFL rookie QBs

Ohio State football 2021 NFL draft player signing tracker
Ohio State football 2021 NFL draft player signing tracker

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) during the NFL football team’s rookie minicamp Friday, May, 14, 2021, in Lake Forest Ill. (AP Photo/David Banks, Pool)

  1. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars – 4,269 yards, 23 passing TDs

  2. Zach Wilson, New York Jets 3,993 yards, 20 passing TDs

  3. Justin Fields, Chicago Bears 3,187 passing yards, 18 passing TDs

  4. Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers2,464 yards, 16 passing TDs

  5. Mac Jones, New England Patriots – 1,410 yards, 7 passing TDs

But that’s not where things end for Fields. We all know he can pick up yards on the ground too, and I’d expect that to be more a part of his game in the NFL as the windows get tighter and he had to ad-lib a little more. Here’s what Clay has for rushing projections for the top rookies.

NEXT … Projected Rushing Yards for NFL rookies

Projected Passing Yards for NFL rookies

Bears' Twitter reacts to Justin Fields's first workout at minicamp
Bears' Twitter reacts to Justin Fields's first workout at minicamp

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) works out during the NFL football team’s rookie minicamp Friday, May, 14, 2021, in Lake Forest Ill. (AP Photo/David Banks, Pool)

  1. Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers: 987 yards rushing

  2. Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos: 789 yards rushing

  3. Michael Carter, New York Jets: 623 yards rushing

  4. Travis Etienne, Jacksonville Jaguars: 616 yards rushing

  5. Justin Fields, Chicago Bears: 463 yards rushing

Now, these are just projections, but these aren’t bad numbers for Fields at all. If this plays out, you have to believe that Chicago fans will be happy with the selection of the former Ohio State quarterback. Heck, we’re hoping he blows these projections out of the water, but that all depends on when he gets the starting nod under center.

Time will tell.

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