Skip Bayless argues Bears should consider QB with No. 1 pick originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
On Sunday, the Chicago Bears earned the rights to the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL draft by losing to the Minnesota Vikings and the Houston Texans by defeating the Indianapolis Colts.
Last week, on Fox's Undisputed, Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe debated how the Bears should manage the No. 1 overall pick, if they received it. Bayless argued the Bears should hypothetically think about addressing the quarterback position with the first overall pick.
"I'm not completely sold on him being that guy to take you to that place," Bayless said of Justin Fields on the show.
Bayless argued the Bears should think about selecting a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick, based on his fears of Fields. He mentioned Ohio State's C.J. Stroud is a "better passer of the football" than Fields and commented about his fondness for Alabama's Bryce Young.
Bayless' partner, Sharpe, came to the rescue with the counterargument.
"You better get Justin Fields some help," Sharpe said. "Somebody he can throw the damn ball to. These guys right here ain't it.
"You're asking questions about Bryce Young's size and you want to put him behind that Bears o-line?"
As Sharpe alluded to, the Bears have bigger fish to fry than addressing the quarterback position.
The Bears, as Sharpe mentioned, have one of the worst wide receiver and offensive line groups in the NFL.
Only one player on the Bears roster recorded more than 500 receiving yards this season (Cole Kmet). And, as Sharpe mentioned in the show, Fields is one of the most-sacked and pressured quarterbacks in the league.
To add to Sharpe's assertion, the Bears also have needs on the defensive side. They have the worst pass-rushing unit in the league, recording a league-worst 20 sacks coming into Sunday's season finale.
And, after the jettison of linebacker Roquan Smith, the Bears are without a formidable WILL linebacker to satisfy Matt Eberflus' defense. Jack Sanborn has been a respectable option this season, but the team is without true playmakers in that group.
"Let's just say for the sake of argument I get the first [overall] pick," Sharpe started. "What would I get the most value for? Justin Fields or Bryce Young? Because, Skip, you're not just one player away. You have so much more. You need offensive line help. You need receiver help.
"Plus, you got a second-round pick for Roquan Smith. You traded the defensive lineman (Robert Quinn) to the Eagles. What do you think I can command the biggest ransom for? Justin Fields, the proven commodity. Or, Bryce Young, a guy that's gonna have a very high grade."
To answer Sharpe's question, in short – the Bears would probably retain the most value via trade for Fields. But, it wouldn't be worth it.
Fields ran for over 1,000 yards this season and mutated into one of the most explosive rushing quarterbacks in the league. He helped a lackluster offense become a competitive unit. And, at one point, helped them average over 30 points per game for four straight weeks.
Plus, to use Skip's point against him, this season's Fields is one fans never saw at Ohio State.
"I did not see him at the Ohio State run the ball like this. It's breathtaking. He looked like Eric Dickerson to me with the easy acceleration," Bayless said.
Case in point, outsiders and pundits haven't seen much of Fields throwing the ball. He threw the ball just over 300 times for around 2,200 yards this season, ranking him 26th and 25th in those categories, respectively.
The wide receiver core and offensive line acted as roadblocks to Fields' arm this season. In turn, the discovery of his legs was the only answer to offensive success.
Sure, Fields isn't yet the molded, finished product of a passer. But, he proved himself as a dual-threat quarterback and made himself a dynamic, unpredictable quarterback.
Fields ran the ball 160 times this season. He ran for 1,143 yards, which resulted more than Dalvin Cook, who ran the ball nearly 100 times more.
Hence, Fields' legs were extremely valuable to the Bears' offense.
Nevertheless, as some pundits and outsiders make their case to draft a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick – or any pick, for that matter – Sharpe correctly sums up the argument.
"If you don't think Justin Fields is the answer, you're asking the wrong questions," Sharpe said.
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