Chicago Bears fans are arguing between Justin Fields and Tyson Bagent, when they should be calling for the firing of Ryan Poles for missing on his evaluation of CJ Stroud.
CJ Stroud was selected second overall in the NFL Draft behind Bryce Young. While most professional NFL evaluators in the media and on the web had CJ Stroud behind Young, that’s no excuse for Ryan Poles. An NFL general manager can’t afford to be as wrong about missing out on a quarterback the way Poles missed on CJ Stroud.
NFL general managers get things wrong all the time, but there should not be a miss like the Chicago Bears missed on CJ Stroud. Stroud set a rookie record with 470 yards and five touchdowns in leading the Houston Texans to their fourth win on the season. With 46 seconds on the clock in the fourth quarter and the Texans down 37-33 and in need of a game winning touchdown drive Stroud responded with this drive:
Houston Texans at 0:46
1-10-HST 25 (:46) (Shotgun) C.Stroud pass short middle to D.Schultz to HST 39 for 14 yards (L.David). P23
Timeout #2 by HST at 00:39.
1-10-HST 39 (:39) (Shotgun) C.Stroud pass short left to D.Schultz to HST 45 for 6 yards (Z.McCollum).
Timeout #3 by HST at 00:31.
2-4-HST 45 (:31) (Shotgun) C.Stroud pass short middle to N.Brown to TB 41 for 14 yards (L.David). P24
1-10-TB 41 (:17) (No Huddle) C.Stroud spiked the ball to stop the clock.
2-10-TB 41 (:16) (Shotgun) C.Stroud pass deep left to N.Dell ran ob at TB 15 for 26 yards [V.Vea]. P25
1-10-TB 15 (:10) (Shotgun) C.Stroud pass short middle to N.Dell for 15 yards, TOUCHDOWN
Stroud was 5 for 5 for 75 yards and a touchdown to clinch the drive for the Houston Texans.
His final two passes were absolute things of beauty.
His second to last pass to his receiver along the sideline, a perfectly placed dime. Stopped the clock.
CJ Stroud dime to Tank Dell on the game-winning drive pic.twitter.com/EvqkMfyOV5
— Nate Tice (@Nate_Tice) November 5, 2023
His next pass threaded the needle between two defenders for the game winning touchdown and left little room for debate of what a true NFL QB looks like.
CJ STROUD FOR THE WIN TO TANK DELL.
5 TDS FOR STROUD. pic.twitter.com/QYLt7gax8E
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) November 5, 2023
The play of CJ Stroud ends the debate of what the standard for QB play in Chicago should look like. It’s not Justin Fields, and it’s not Tyson Bagent, it’s the play of CJ Stroud. Stroud is the epitome of an elite QB, he clearly elevates the players around him and has the Texans clearly in the hunt after being the second worst team in the NFL a year ago.
The fact that Ryan Poles had the opportunity to evaluate and draft CJ Stroud first overall and didn’t is reason to be fired. Justin Fields showed clearly last year that he was not the QB of the future of the Chicago Bears. There was simple concrete evidence that Fields doesn’t have elite capabilities.
With a golden opportunity to clearly elevate the Chicago Bears for the next 12 to 15 years, Poles missed in a huge way that highlights even more his incompetence as a general manager.
The missed evaluation with Stroud is on par with Ryan Pace’s missed evaluation of Patrick Mahomes. Clearly teams miss all the time on players, but missing what appears to be another franchise altering talent is inexcusable. Justin Fields’ failures were already obvious enough to move on from him. Ryan Poles should have made the obvious decision, the one that I started advocating as an amateur talent evaluator at the end of last season.
The Houston Texans may have lost the first overall pick in the NFL Draft but the clearly won by landing CJ Stroud as their franchise QB.
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