Justin Fields walks off the field after the national title game. | Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
The Bears moved up to No. 11 to take the Ohio State quarterback.
Ryan Pace got his quarterback — and it cost him.
The Bears traded up to draft Ohio State star Justin Fields on Thursday night. Fields threw for 22 touchdowns and six interceptions last season after throwing 41 and 3 the year before.
“I’m just excited and ready to get to work,” he told ABC from his family home in Kennesaw, Ga.
The Bears signed Andy Dalton to a one-year contract in March. Fields could learn behind the veteran to start this season — or, if he beats him out in training camp, begin the year as the starter.
Either way, the Bears’ general manager got his second chance at a first-round pick four years after trading up for Mitch Trubisky.
To move from No. 20 to No. 11, the Bears gave up this year’s first-round pick, a 2022 first-round pick, a 2022 fourth-rounder and a 2021 fifth-rounder, per ESPN.
Pace, who had never drafted outside the top 10, said this week that he was at the mercy of opposing teams in the draft.
‘‘Some of it’s in our control, some of it’s not in our control,’’ he said Tuesday. ‘‘It’s just exploring all the different options at the quarterback position and the positions throughout our team.’’
Pace hadn’t made a first-round pick since 2018, when he took inside linebacker Roquan Smith eighth overall. He traded the Bears’ first-round picks in 2019 and 2020 to the Raiders in the Khalil Mack deal.
As expected, quarterbacks were drafted with each of the first three picks. The Jaguars took consensus No. 1 Trevor Lawrence and the Jets went with BYU’s Zach Wilson. The 49ers, who traded three first-round picks to move up to the third slot in March, delivered the first surprise of the draft when they took North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, who has played one FCS game in more than 15 months.
Both Fields and Alabama’s Mac Jones were still available when the Bears traded up.