In a draft class that’s full of quarterback talent, where does former Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields fit into the equation? Is he the best quarterback not named Trevor Lawrence or are there questions about his pro prospects?
After sitting beyond Jake Fromm at Georgia, Fields decided to transfer to Ohio State to get a chance to play. He immediately stepped onto the field and racked up 63 touchdown passes to just nine interceptions over one season and what amounted to half a season in 2020. Fields also displayed his athleticism, scoring 15 rushing touchdowns during his time in Columbus. He went 20-2 as a starter and stole the show in the national semifinal against Clemson this past season.
Fields has what most would consider an ideal combination of arm talent and athleticism. He’s capable of running RPO concepts and will pay defenses pay for playing man coverage, especially on third down, as Fields will be able to break containment and pick up first downs with his legs. However, he also has the arm talent to make all of the throws and isn’t shy about pushing the ball downfield.
It’s worth noting that Fields only started 22 games at Ohio State after playing sparingly at Georgia. He’ll likely go through some growing pains as a young quarterback in the NFL with regard to going through his progressions and making good choices. He can also be overconfident in his abilities, assuming that he can always run out of trouble, which will lead to a high number of sacks in the NFL.
Fields appears to be losing ground to Zach Wilson in terms of the second quarterback taken behind Lawrence. He will likely benefit from a little time on the sidelines behind a veteran quarterback. But that’s unlikely if he’s a top-5 pick, which is likely. There will be bumps in the road for Fields early in his career. However, his upside is high and his athleticism will make him compelling to watch and a handful for opposing defenses right off the bat.