Bears GM Ryan Poles doing ‘homework’ on draft class, plans on QB Justin Fields being starter in ’23


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Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles continues to reassert the team’s faith in Justin Fields.

Speaking Tuesday from the NFL Scouting Combine, Poles said the plan is for Fields to be the starter in 2023, but the club will do its due diligence on the incoming rookie class.

“That’s the plan, right now,” Poles told reporters on Tuesday. “Like I said, we’re going to do our homework on this class and if something changes, and again, I will just use this same statement: We will have to be blown away to say, you know, I think this is best for our organization.”

It’s a statement Poles has been reiterating since the Bears secured the No. 1 overall pick and the GM has spent much of the offseason parrying questions about Fields’ future in Chicago. Poles wants to maintain transparency with Fields throughout the process.

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“Justin did some really good things — I’m excited about where is game is going to go,” Poles said. “But at the same time when you sit at our situation at one overall, you have to do your due diligence. You have to investigate everything, you gotta spend time with those guys just to make sure we’re making the right decision. What’s important to me, and I think everyone knows me by now and how I want to treat our players, we will be in communication with Justin along the way just to make sure that he knows what we’re doing and nothing’s a surprise to him.”

Fields was one of the most dynamic players in the NFL in 2022, particularly with his legs, gashing defenses for 1,143 yards and eight rushing scores. The Bears’ passing offense, however, was anemic, with the QB tossing for 2,242 yards and 17 touchdowns with 11 interceptions in 15 games. Fields’ passing struggles, which include sluggish processing — even as he improved in that area in Year 2 — have led to questions about whether he can still develop into a franchise quarterback who can play under center.

However, with the No. 1 overall pick, the Bears will focus on building around Fields. Reworking the offensive line, adding weapons, and upgrading the defense are all necessary moves this offseason for the second-year GM

Chicago is positioned to potentially trade the top pick to a QB-needy team and add more selections to its stockpile.

Poles noted that it’s possible the team could decide to trade the selection before free agency opens on March 15.

“There are some scenarios that might benefit us to move before free agency opens potentially,” he said. “Again, I think when we get back with all the information that we’ve gathered here, I think we will have a better direction.”

Bears GM Ryan Poles doing ‘homework’ on draft class, plans on QB Justin Fields being starter in ’23

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