C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young draw comparisons to Bears’ Justin Fields


INDIANAPOLIS — C.J. Stroud doesn’t want to take Justin Fields’ job, and the Bears don’t seem ready to give up on Bryce Young.

Stroud and Young, the consensus top two quarterbacks in the 2023 NFL Draft, are being compared not just to each other, but to third-year pro Fields.

The Bears have recommitted to starting field and are shopping No. 1 for quarterback-needy teams.

“I don’t want to go there,” Stroud, Fields’ former teammate at Ohio State, said Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine. “This is his team. I have to do my job and I have to build my legacy. He and I are brothers for life.”

Young, the projected top pick in most mock drafts, is skipping throw drills Saturday in favor of showing off his passing skills at Alabama’s pro day, so Stroud and other top quarterbacks in front of scouts, coaches and executives. can get land

Listed at 6-foot, 194 pounds in college, Young’s biggest moment will be Saturday when he steps on a scale for official measurements to determine if his thin frame will cause a lack of durability. can

Bryce Young
USA Today Sports

“I’ve been this size my whole life, respectfully,” Young said. “I know who I am. I know what I can do. I’ve been around the 200-pound range [in training] And it’s not too hard to do when you focus on being a professional football player.

The Texans, Colts, Raiders, Falcons and Panthers all have top 10 picks that could be used in a trade package to acquire the No. 1 pick.

Are the Bears making a mistake by not resetting with Young, who will have four years of a cost-controlled contract compared to Fields’ remaining two?

“If you’re comparing who’s the better player, it’s Bryce Young,” said one NFL scout. “Fields is the better athlete, but decision making and throwing the ball to his targets, this young man is hands down.”

Stroud said Fields is “not a running back.

He’s a quarterback and he can sling that rock. “

Unless defensive end Will Anderson crashes the party, the most likely scenario for the top of the draft is that Young and Stroud go No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.

The Texans pick No. 2, and Stroud is “looking forward to going deeper and deeper and building a relationship with them” after his first formal interview.

Justin Fields
Justin Fields
USA Today Sports

“I think I’ve been the best player in college football two years in a row,” Stroud said. “Honestly, I haven’t touched my potential yet.”

Inspired by Michael Vick “as a black quarterback to stay in the pocket and throw,” one of Stroud’s untapped skills is his ability to use his athleticism, which he showed in his final college game against Georgia.

“I didn’t do that much in college and I feel like I should have,” Stroud said. “It is something I regret. I had third-down runs, I had tough runs on fourth-down, but sometimes I didn’t run the ball when maybe I should have. That’s something I plan to fix and I’ll show them my athleticism. I have done it before in the film, but since people don’t think I can do it, I am going to do it again.

The young man is also picky.

“My job isn’t necessarily to prove anything,” Young said. “I speak my truth. I make sure I explain how I play the game, how I see the game, my process, how I’m able to achieve things. It’s just talking about X’s and O’s. I’ve been around a lot of great football minds at these meetings … being able to talk about myself and seeing how they run their offense. “

Stroud made more NFL-caliber throws in Ohio State’s offense than former first-round pick Dwayne Haskins and Fields, both of whom racked up big numbers with throws closer to the line of scrimmage.

“I’m smart when it comes to security and things like that because I fix a lot of issues before they’re there,” Stroud said. “That’s something I pride myself on. And one thing about me, I think I’m a ball-placement specialist. I don’t want my receivers to have to do anything to actually catch the ball.”

Kyler Murray was the No. 1 pick in 2019 despite questions about his 5-10 height.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Young said. “Obviously I don’t have to choose. I’d be surprised either way. “

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