The Bears are in the midst of another losing season and there are rumors flying about who is staying and who is going in the front office. However, there are still some signs of hope on the roster. #2 was Roquan Smith, and links to the rest of the series can be found at the bottom of that article.
However, #1 seems a little predestined at this point...
#1 Justin Fields (62 points)
Lester: If Fields isn’t one of the Bears Magnificent 7 for the future then this franchise will be looking up at their division for the next several years. Fields has the skills for a modern NFL offense, now we just need to see him learn and grow into one.
Bill: This is the only answer. If Fields somehow doesn’t pan out, the Bears franchise is honestly in shambles, but if Fields turns out to be a top ten, potentially top five QB in the league, his presence will stabilize the Bears and keep them at or above .500 for the foreseeable future once he comes into his own. An elite QB is that valuable.
ECD: It really has to be QB1, right? We’ve seen flashes of brilliance for the young QB during his 2021 rookie season. Had Matt Nagy and his assistants not been so clumsy with his introduction to the NFL, we might very well see a respectable statline and a much better season team-wide. Still, Matt Nagy has lost the privilege to coach Justin Fields after 2021, and coaches around the league surely will line up to interview for the Bears’ HC job as a result. If everything gets put together properly, the Bears finally have their franchise QB. That is the single most important aspect to highlight.
Jeff B. Number one in your hearts and in your programs, he’s also number one on any list like this for good reason. He has the potential to be an upper tier quarterback in this league. Literally everything the Bears do for the next two to three years needs to be about him. There are no guarantees he develops, but nothing matters if he doesn’t.
Josh: No, I don’t know he’s going to be good. I actually get serious “Jay Cutler” vibes watching him play, and he feels like Schrodinger’s prospect on every play. However, he still has the potential to be excellent, and even that is a rarity at the quarterback position. He’s at least fun to watch at times.
Rob S: There was only one choice for #1 — nobody will shape the future Chicago Bears like their young QB, Justin Fields. And while I think he’ll ultimately round into a player we’ll love watching for 8-12 years, there’s no telling what the future holds for the young signal caller. Can he stay healthy? Will the Bears’ new offense mesh with his skillset? Can he take even further steps forward than he’s already taken thus far in 2021? Whether the answer is “yes” or “no” to these questions, Fields will either drive the future team forward... or hold it back. For answers, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Rob Z: Pick the right coach and the right personnel man, and it finally works out. The Bears finally have a special quarterback. If only it were simple, for them specifically. I think Fields can be a face of the league, someone who leads a, or even the, marquee franchise of the league. And the bumbling Bears know it, too. No pressure or anything.
Jack Salo: The most important position in professional sports, and the Bears have been the worst at filling it in the Super Bowl era. Fields has shown miraculous plays in his rookie season, so there’s plenty of reason to be optimistic about the future. The 2021 season was all about development of the rookie, so there was enough slack on the line to not demand blowing up the team just yet. Coaching staff and front office? OK, we can have that discussion. But give Fields time to determine which offensive players on the rest of this list are going to jive with his play style, and lock those guys up for the future.
Sam H: How could it be anyone else? He represents all of the hope that Chicago has had for a franchise quarterback going back to our grandfathers and great-grandfathers. He’s shown flashes, he just needs the right scheme and coaching. With that, he is the future.