Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields offer Bears quarterback options in 2021 NFL Draft

Bryan Perez
NBC Sports Chicago

The Bears don't have a first-round pick in 2020. And even if they did, they wouldn't spend it on a quarterback. It's too soon to re-invest in a first-round quarterback just four seasons after selecting Mitch Trubisky with the second overall pick in 2017.

That won't be the case next year, however.

The Bears played the right strategy this offseason. They invested a fourth-round pick in a veteran quarterback, Nick Foles, who has enough league-wide credibility to challenge Trubisky for the starting job, and has the confidence from his teammates to win games if he ends up QB1. 

But Foles isn't the long-term answer if he becomes the starter this fall. The Bears will be back in the quarterback market in next year's draft if Trubisky fails, and, fortunately, there will be two high-end prospects expected to turn pro in 2021: Clemson's Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State's Justin Fields.

While it's way too early to go through each player's strengths and weaknesses, it's fair to say that both of them possess exciting traits in line with the league's top quarterbacks.

Lawrence, in particular, will be one of the highest (if not the highest) graded players to enter the league in quite some time. Even on the heels of Joe Burrow-mania, Lawrence will be the quarterback front offices view as a can't-miss, generational prospect.

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With that in mind, and if the Bears' 2020 season goes sideways early on, would it be better for Chicago to keep an eye on the 2021 draft order instead of push for meaningless November and December wins?

It's a debate that tears fanbases apart. Bears fans are no exception. Traditionalists will argue that every win builds a positive culture, and losses (even if they result in a better draft pick) should never be the goal. 

Draft purists may beg to differ. Why field a roster that continues to finish at or just above .500 when one really bad season could turn into a decade or longer with a franchise quarterback under center?

There's no right answer. And the scars from the Trubisky era, if it ends in 2020, will run deep. Fans will recall the high grades and praise Trubisky received as a prospect and will fear more of the same if Chicago ends up in striking distance for Lawrence or Fields next April.

The responses to this tweet that I fired out on March 28 gives a sense of the split among Bears fans when it comes to tanking for Lawrence heading into 2020:

Even if you aren't the biggest Trubisky fan, and even if you've been loyal to him but fear the floor is about to drop out from under him this season, the best-case scenario for Chicago is for Trubisky to take a big and significant step in his development in 2020.

A winning season, even if it's just nine or 10 wins, led by Trubisky having the kind of year everyone expected from him last season is the ultimate goal. It will give the Bears confidence that they have their young franchise quarterback already in place and will allow the franchise to focus on stacking winning seasons together.

Otherwise, another reboot led by another highly drafted quarterback will be right around the corner.

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Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields offer Bears quarterback options in 2021 NFL Draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

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