May 5, 2021

2021 NFL Draft Preview: Justin Fields

In a draft that is supposed to be loaded with talented quarterbacks, Justin Fields was believed to be the second best quarterback going into the 2021 NFL draft.

That belief has changed dramatically over the last few weeks, most “experts, analyst and mock drafts now have him as the fourth or fifth best quarterback in this draft.

Let me make a few things clear…first, this quarterback class is one of the weakest classes I have seen. None of these quarterbacks will be franchise or Super Bowl winning quarterbacks (well, maybe as a second or third string holding a clipboard on the sideline). Second, even as I am about to point out strengths and weaknesses of Justin Fields, he is clearly top 2 in this class, arguably the best quarterback in the 2021 NFL draft. Third and FINALLY, any “expert”, analyst or mock draft that has Mac Jones top 2 or above Justin Fields (and Trevor Lawrence), just throw it out or discard the vomit coming out their mouth.

Now onto Justin Fields…

Fields has a grand total of 22 starts (20-2) and even though he threw for 5,701 yards (68.4%), 67 passing TDS, 19 rushing TDS and just 9 total INTS, he is still not ready for the NFL and should have spent one more year at Ohio State.

In 2019, Fields went 13-1 with 3,273 passing yards (484 rushing) with 41 passing TDS (10 rushing) and 3 INTs, but due to one of the worst calls in Fiesta Bowl history, was bounced out of the NCAA playoffs.

In 2020, Fields went 7-1 with 2,100 passing yards (383 rushing) with 22 passing TDs (5 rushing) and 6 INTs in a COVID-19 season, but take a beating against a strong and much better Alabama team.

Fields hasn’t played enough games to prove he is NFL ready. Fields has not shown anyone he can handle the pressure of the big game or even playoffs. And honestly, with a partial 2020 season and the many weak teams he faced in 2019 , he really hasn’t even showed us he can compete or play quality teams.

Do NOT get me wrong, Fields has pure arm talent, requisite height with a sturdy build and outstanding athleticism. I love that he is willing and wanting to stand in the pocket, but that has the athletic skills to turn a busted play into positive yards with his legs. Even as dangerous he is with those legs, he keeps his eyes upfield ready to throw the ball when extending plays.

Fields has the type of arm talent to make strong, accurate throws even when his feet aren’t under him.

Fields is a natural ball carrier, knows how to follow blocks and the skill set to make defenders miss and the speed to break off long runs.

With his build, Fields will be able to absorb contact and stay durable in the NFL, but just ask Cam Newton, RG III and Lamar Jackson, that’s not a guarantee and injuries can hurt and possibly end a career.

Justin Fields will get drafted in the first round, more likely in the top 5, but definitely top 10. Drafted as a year one starter…absolutely not, drafted to continue developing for a year or two, like by his hometown Atlanta Falcons…absolutely positively YES!!!