NFL Draft: Chicago Bears pick Ohio State’s Justin Fields

Justin Fields is staying in the Midwest.

The Chicago Bears chose the Ohio State quarterback with the 11th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Fields was the fourth quarterback taken Thursday night.

The Jacksonville Jaguars picked Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 pick, the New York Jets chose Zach Wilson of BYU next and Trey Lance of North Dakota State went No. 3 to the San Francisco 49ers.

Fields was named the Big Ten’s top quarterback and offensive player both of his seasons at Ohio State. He also won the Chicago Tribune Silver Football this season after leading the Buckeyes to a second consecutive Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff berth.

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After serving as the backup quarterback at Georgia his freshman year, the five-star prospect transferred to Ohio State and won the starting job in 2019.

At Ohio State, he completed 396 of 579 passes for 5,373 yards with 63 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

He also ran for 867 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Fields is the second Ohio State quarterback drafted in the first round in the past three years, joining Dwayne Haskins Jr.

Prior to Haskins, the last Ohio State QB taken in the first round was Art Schlichter in 1982, and the most-recent Big Ten first-round QB was Kerry Collins of Penn State in 1995.

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The first Ohio State QB to play solely for head coach Ryan Day, Fields will hope to break a long string of disappointment for Buckeye signal-callers in the NFL.

Fields is the 17th Ohio State quarterback to be drafted in the common era (since 1967).

None have had a long run of sustained success at quarterback, and Mike Tomczak, Kent Graham and St. Henry’s Bobby Hoying are the only ones to spend more than three seasons in the league as a quarterback.

Tomczak signed with Chicago as a free agent and spent his first six seasons with the Bears, including as a backup on the 1985 Super Bowl champions.

He started 31 games for the team and threw for 6,247 yards and 33 touchdowns for Chicago.

Fields is the third Ohio State quarterback drafted by the Bears in the common era (since 1967). Previously they drafted Craig Krenzel in 2004 and Ron Maciejowski in 1971.

Maciejowski ultimately went to training camp with the Bengals and was cut in favor of veteran Virgil Carter and another rookie named Ken Anderson.

Krenzel started five games for the Bears in 2004, going 3-2 and throwing for 718 yards and three touchdowns with six interceptions.

The franchise also used a first round pick on an Ohio State quarterback in 1941 when they selected Don Scott with the ninth overall pick. Scott never played for the Bears, though. He enlisted in World War II, became a pilot and was killed when his B-26 bomber crashed on a training run in England.

Fields is the 31st Ohio State player drafted by the Bears and the first since Wayne High School graduate Marcus Freeman in 2009. The first was Gust Zarnas in 1938. The only team to draft more players from Ohio State is the Browns, who have chosen 34 Buckeyes.

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