COLUMBUS — Expectations are already being set for the rookie season of Justin Fields.
The former Ohio State quarterback was selected as the No. 11 overall pick in the opening round of last week’s NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. Less than a week later, the folks in Las Vegas have Fields among the favorites for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.
The former Buckeyes star has the second-best odds at 11/2, according to BetOnline.ag. No. 1 overall pick and Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence has the best odds to win the award at 7/2. Fields leads the third-overall pick, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance, who holds a 13/2 chance.
Odds are already out on the starting status for Fields, too. The odds of him starting Chicago’s opening game of the regular season have been set at 7/2, with his chance of not starting are 1/6. The Bears plan to have Andy Dalton as their starting quarterback this fall, helping Fields adjust to the offense and play at the next level.
Fields becomes the second first-round quarterback in three years developed by Ryan Day.
“I’m proud of that,” Day said last week. “But also, it’s what you do with the opportunity now, and Justin knows that. Now he’s got to go about the business of putting in the work, building that respect in the locker room so he can go have a successful career. It is exciting to have two guys drafted in the last three years. I think it’s great for recruiting. It’s an exciting time to be a quarterback or receiver at Ohio State, and it’s just fun to be a part of this, to be able to continue to recruit these people and their families.”
If Fields does have a stellar rookie season and wins NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, he’ll become the first Ohio State product to win the award since Eddie George in 1996 with the Houston Oilers. The Buckeyes have had plenty of recent success on the defensive side of the ball, however, as Chase Young, Joey Bosa, Nick Bosa and Marshon Lattimore have each won the Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
Chicago might or might not use the Buckeyes star much this year. But if the Bears do unleash Justin Fields, they’ll have an athletic, elite quarterback under center.