Bears quarterback Justin Fields has produced mixed results as a quarterback. Could he thrive if he changed positions?
There's no denying Fields is a great athlete. We've seen it time and time again during his stay in the Windy City. But those same athletic gifts that made him a fun quarterback to watch could make him a dynamic playmaker at a different position.
Fields has the talent to play wide receiver, running back, or returner at a high level. Out of those three positions, he has the best chance to succeed at wide receiver. With a 6-foot-3, 228-pound build, he has the size and strength to make the switch.
Imagine Fields catching a five-yard in and taking it to the house. Fields has potential as a big-bodied receiver who could become a yards-after-the-catch monster.
One of the best running quarterbacks in the league, Fields became only the third quarterback in NFL history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season in 2022, joining NFL legend Michael Vick and MVP front-runner Lamar Jackson, per StatMuse. His total that season, 1,143 rushing yards, is third all-time for a quarterback in a single season.
Being a running quarterback has its perks, but the glory doesn't last long. Running quarterbacks come and go. Think Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III, and Marcus Mariota. All three were running quarterbacks with short primes.
If Fields wants to have a long career, making the switch to wide reciver is a logical move.
Similarly, NFL clubs don't have the same patience at wide receiver as they do at quarterback. If a quarterback can't get the job done, he's typically gone within a year or two. Fields could sit a year out, learn how to play wide receiver, and become a solid starter at a new position.
There have been many success stories when it comes to quarterbacks switching over to the wide receiver position, including Julian Edelman, Antwaan Randle El, Hines Ward, and Mohamed Sanu, to name a few.
All four of those quarterbacks-turned-wide receivers enjoyed successful careers and made big plays for their teams. However, they were quarterbacks in high school or college and switched so they could go pro.
Could Justin Fields switch to wide receiver to benefit his career?
NFL quarterbacks switching to wide receiver are a rarity. Fields could be the best to do it.
Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor made the switch with great success for the Cleveland Browns.
College football legend Tim Tebow didn't have the makings to be an NFL quarterback. The bulky signal caller refused to switch positions for a long time. When Urban Meyer, his head coach with the Florida Gators, became the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach, Meyer gave his former quarterback a tryout at tight end. He was cut before the preseason during the Jaguars' ill-fated season with Meyer.
Even Bears linebacker T.J. Edwards, the Bears leading tackler this season, played quarterback in a run-heavy offense at nearby Lakes Community High School before switching to linebacker at Wisconsin.
If Fields makes the switch to wide receiver, he could succeed. There's nothing wrong with admitting it could be the right move for his career.
It's tough to see the Bears drafting a quarterback and keeping Fields as a wide receiver. Teams in need of a wide receiver, like the Kansas City Chiefs and the New York Giants, could possibly take a chance on Fields if he switched positions.
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