Justin Fields was set to meet up with another NFC North team.
The Bears caused a stir in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, climbing nine spots to grab a sliding 11th place finish from the Ohio State QB. They sent the Giants a future first-round pick and more to secure the pick.
But the Bears didn’t just take Fields for themselves – they kept the ultra-talented passer away from a division rival. ESPN’s Courtney Cronin said the Vikings were ready to select Fields with the No. 14 overall pick, but the Bears’ massive move to No. 11 stunned Minnesota and left the team without an immediate QB selection there. .
The Vikings made several attempts to trade, per Cronin, but no team was put on. Cronin reports that the Vikings were high on the tackle Rashawn Slater (he went No.13 to the Chargers) and eventually agreed to return to No.23, trading with the Jets after Slater left the field.
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The Jets would select USC offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker at No.14, while the Vikings would select Virginia Tech tackle Christian Darrisaw at No.23. Minnesota would later use one of the third picks. round sent by the Jets to select Texas A&M. quarterback Kellen Mond.
The Vikings weren’t “desperate” enough to move up to select Fields, according to Cronin, but would have had a succession plan in place after outgoing QB Kirk Cousins left. Instead, they stayed behind and chose Mond.
The Minnesota brass had let the Cousins know that they were looking to select a quarterback in the draft, so as not to blind him.
The Vikings, however, will now have to face Fields twice a year instead. Hopefully the decision not to trade won’t come back to bite them.