The Chicago Bears were widely praised for their 2021 NFL Draft class, but we’re still talking about a team coming off consecutive 8-8 seasons, with some questions in the secondary, some uncertainty along the offensive line, poor depth at linebacker, and a play caller resuming those duties after demoting himself a year ago.
So how are the Bears viewed nationally now that the bulk of free agency is over and the draft is in the books?
Let’s take a trip around some post draft NFL power rankings to see what the experts are thinking about the Bears right now.
The Athletic has the Bears way down at 25th overall.
For the Bears and their fans, the 2021 season is not really about the 2021 season. It’s about seeing enough flashes from Justin Fields to be excited about the future.
As noted above in the Patriots section, the average season from a rookie quarterback over the last 10 years equates to about the 25th-best starter league-wide. The Bears have questions up front, and Matt Nagy has not proven to be a difference-making schemer or play-caller. In other words, whenever Fields plays, he won’t be entering a great situation. But even if it’s just a play here and a possession there, if Fields can capture the fan base’s imagination, this should be a fun, exciting season in Chicago.
Here’s where Sports Illustrated’s Monday Morning Quarterback has Chicago.
21. Chicago Bears
Points in poll: 94
Highest-place vote: 18 (3)
Lowest-place vote: 25 (3)
Post-SB rank: 16
SI draft grade: A-
Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy may have bought themselves some extra job security with Justin Fields now in the fold. Of course, the obvious question is how long it’ll be before he takes over for Andy Dalton. Nagy has spoken of his time in Kansas City with Patrick Mahomes backing up Alex Smith, but of course that’s easier said than done if the losses pile up.
CBS Sports has the Bears falling 10 spots to 23rd overall.
They traded up to land Justin Fields in the draft, which was a smart move, but the timetable for his play is the thing to watch here. Will it be Fields or Andy Dalton to open the season
The New York Post also has Chicago checked in at number 23.
The Mitch Trubisky Era mercifully is over. Is the QB combination of Andy Dalton and rookie Justin Fields enough to win over disgruntled WR Allen Robinson and save jobs? The Bears really need Khalil Mack to be a game-wrecking pass-rusher again to have a chance.
NFL.com has the Bears up 4 spots to 19th overall.
Man, did the Bears need that. Hope! Excitement! The promise of a more compelling tomorrow! That’s what came back to Chicago when Ryan Pace made the bold move to trade up and acquire Justin Fields with the 11th overall pick on Thursday night. Fields figures to push Andy Dalton for the starting job on a Bears team that can contend in the NFC North with legitimate quarterback play. Should we mention here that the Chicago Bears suddenly have one of the best QB rooms in the league? A hugely compelling rookie in Fields and the best veteran backup in football in Dalton? Even Nick Foles is still on hand to tell Super Bowl LII stories. What in the name of Sid Luckman is going on around here?
Here’s how the USA Today has the Bears.
26. Bears (24): They’re in a similar pickle as the Patriots, grateful to have obtained a potential franchise quarterback in Justin Fields but not in a position to smoothly transition the offense to him from veteran Andy Dalton’s style.
Where do you think the Bears should be ranked right now?