Justin Fields is undoubtedly one of the best prospects in the upcoming draft. With impeccable deep ball accuracy, coupled with elite athleticism, Fields has been a terror for college defenses. And with the NFL moving towards a mobile QB league, Fields could potentially go on to be the best amongst a stacked QB class.
For the majority of the 2020 season, Justin Fields was considered the 2nd best QB prospect. He was named back-to-back Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in 2019 and 2020 and led the Buckeyes to a national championship appearance in 2020. However, Fields’ draft stock has taken a hit heading into the draft.
Justin Fields career stats (1 year at Georgia, 2 at Ohio State).
– 34 games
– 68.4% completion
– 5,701 yards
– 67 TDs
– 9 INTs
– 178.8 passer efficiency rating
– 9.2 yards-per-attempt
– 1,133 rushing yards
– 19 rush TDs
– 4.4 yards-per-carry pic.twitter.com/gHvbGIZeL9
— Cat Crave (@CatCraveBlog) April 3, 2021
Here are the pros and cons for drafting Justin Fields.
Justin Fields Pros:
Pro: Elite Athleticism
Justin Fields is one of the best athletes in the draft, regardless of position. He ran a 4.44-second 40-yard dash at his pro day, which for a QB second all-time only to Robert Griffins 40 time in 2012. Standing 6-foot-3 and weighing in at 227 lbs, Fields essentially mirrors the former Baylor quarterback’s 6-foot-2, 223 lbs frame.
His strength and toughness were on display in the CFP semi-final against Clemson. But even after getting injured by a brutal crown of the helmet tackle, Fields absolutely crushed the Tigers, throwing for 6 touchdowns and winning the Sugar Bowl MVP. Fields is even more electric with his legs, as his quick acceleration and power can make a 5-yard loss into a 15 yard gain.
— NFL (@NFL) March 30, 2021
Con: Pocket Awareness
Despite being a mobile quarterback, Fields has shown that he doesn’t have great pocket awareness. Fields can have the tendency to be fixated on a receiver’s route to develop, and not realising when the pocket collapses.
He needs to do a better job of managing his internal clock, and if the play is not developed before he begins to feel it, he needs to run. Fields could manage against college defences, but with the likes of Aaron Donald and T.J Watt Charging at him, he can ill afford to have so much leisure in the pocket.
The main takeaway from this play? Justin Fields holding the ball too long and getting sacked.
But also look at Jonah Jackson deliver a hit on the defensive end mid-spin move. He likes to be a punisher.
— Colin Hass-Hill (@chasshill) September 10, 2019
Pro: Accuracy on the run and RPO’s
Fields has always been an accurate passer, but his arm talent on the run is transcendent. He is at his best during play actions passes. His athleticism elevates these offensive sets, as the defense is left to wonder if he will run or sit back and take the shot.
Fields’ arm talent is already at an NFL level. He is incredibly accurate and his throws do not suffer from inconsistency, even if he has to throw deep balls of over 50+ yards. He can also sell the ball fake well, and is arguably the best QB in the draft when escaping the pocket.
— Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) March 30, 2021
Con: Working through his progressions
One of the knocks on Justin Fields is that he takes too much time working through his progressions. Draft Analysts believe his game has shown that Fields can sometimes be stuck on either his 1st or 2nd read. While this statement is rather exaggerated, Fields may not be as quick processing defences as some of the other QBs in the draft.
He can tend to miss a drifting defender or stay locked on a receiver for way too long. He can fail to check the ball down and can force an unnecessary thrown down the field. However, most of his weakness stems from his inexperience as a starter and could be corrected eventually.
Justin Fields: Best college QB of the group.
Zach Wilson: Best NFL prospect of the group.
Zach is a better game manager, he progresses through his reads at a more frequent rate, and his efficiency rates on short and intermediate routes are special. https://t.co/TNhfQM28NR
— Jack Stone (@flapjacksevens) March 30, 2021
How Does Justin Fields Fare?
At one point, Justin Fields was pushing Trevor Lawrence for being the 1st QB off the draft board. But after a rollercoaster 2020 season, Fields draft stock has taken a hit, with some mock drafts projecting to be the 5th QB off the board. Fields’ talent is unquestionable. But only time will tell if he will be able to transform into an elite QB in the NFL.