Where will Justin Fields land?
At one level, the Ohio State product was a lock for QB2 behind Trevor Lawrence in the 2021 NFL Draft. Now, Fields’ standing as a top-10 passer is, seemingly, something however sure.
Fields has gone via the wringer throughout this pre-draft cycle: His work ethic has been unfairly questioned, his mechanics have been picked aside and his gameday processing “issues” have been means, means overstated.
While NFL Draft specialists cannot come to a consensus on the place Fields goes to land, there appears to be a well-liked spot — inside the primary 10 picks — the place the passer appears to be an amazing match.
Here’s the place draftniks are saying Fields will go on Thursday evening:
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network
- Pick: No. 7
- Team: Detroit Lions
Analysis: “This could be a trade spot, with some teams picking after Detroit potentially in the market for a quarterback, but I wouldn’t rule out the Lions staying put and taking a signal-caller themselves. Fields has more upside than Jared Goff.”
Jeremiah’s reasoning is sensible right here: While the Lions traded for Jared Goff this offseason, Fields’ athleticism, arm and ceiling are all pluses to what Goff is providing proper now. While Detroit could decide to offer Goff a yr to determine it out in the brand new offense, Fields could profit from sitting for a yr.
Mel Kiper, ESPN
- Pick: No. 3
- Team: San Francisco 49ers
Analysis: “You should know by now how much I like Fields. He has all the tools to be a superstar, and he’d thrive in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.”
Kiper tends of over-thinking issues in his mock drafts, however that is the best name for Kyle Shanahan and Co. at No. 3. While reviews recommend that Shanahan is scorching after Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, Fields possesses the athleticism that Jones does not have. He additionally has the big-game expertise that Trey Lance lacks, although that is additionally a reasonably overstated narrative.
Todd McShay, ESPN
- Pick: No. 9
- Team: Denver Broncos
Analysis: “Drew Lock hasn’t yet started a complete season and was missing his No. 1 receiver (Courtland Sutton) for essentially the entire 2020 campaign, so the verdict is still out on whether he can be the guy. But while I like his game and believe he can be a good starter, his production hasn’t met expectations in a division that includes Patrick Mahomes, Derek Carr and Justin Herbert.”
McShay thinks that if a quarterback is obtainable at pick No. 9, whether or not it is Fields or Trey Lance, the Broncos will take a passer or a defensive playmaker. Logic says that there is been an excessive amount of shaky play from Lock in a Broncos uniform, and Fields presents a contemporary begin for George Paton and Vic Fangio.
Dane Brugler, The Athletic
- Pick: No. 9
- Team: Denver Broncos
Analysis: “How seriously are the Broncos considering a quarterback at No. 9? With a first-year general manager in George Paton (and John Elway not completely out of the picture), it is tough to know. But Drew Lock hasn’t done enough to secure the starting job and Fields’ talent might be too good to pass up.”
George Paton is inheriting each Drew Lock and head coach Vic Fangio as he enters his first yr on the job, which means there could possibly be a yr grace interval to determine what they wish to do at quarterback. Still, Fields is just too good of a expertise to let slip previous the Broncos, who have had hassle discovering that subsequent franchise man after John Elway, and to a lesser extent, Peyton Manning.
Brugler’s level stands: Lock merely hasn’t achieved sufficient as a quarterback in two seasons to justify passing up on Fields’ electrical expertise.
Peter King, NBC Sports
- Pick: No. 8
- Team: Carolina Panthers
Analysis: “Count the Panthers as another team that would love to take a passel of picks from New England or Washington to move down. As I wrote last week, Carolina hates the fact that the franchise has averaged 6.2 picks per draft in the last eight years when the average team has 8.1. I’m not sure at all they’d use the pick here on Fields, because they’re truly optimistic about Sam Darnold. But owner David Tepper has made no secret that finding a franchise quarterback has to be job one, two, three and four for the team. Fields falling to them makes sense—even if it would crush the new incumbent QB.”
The Panthers choosing Justin Fields simply weeks after buying and selling for Sam Darnold is not as loopy as you’d assume. Carolina is determined to seek out the following franchise quarterback, and the Darnold experiment can go considered one of two methods: He improves simply sufficient to be a top-15 QB, or the faults he confirmed whereas with the Jets proceed to emerge. The concept of Darnold making the leap to a top-10 passer is simply unfounded in the intervening time, no matter how dangerous the state of affairs was in New York.
So to that finish, the Panthers choosing Justin Fields doubles their probabilities of discovering a franchise man, however the group would virtually actually go for Fields long-term in the speedy over Darnold.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News
- Pick: No. 9
- Team: Denver Broncos
Analysis: “The Broncos and Fields seem meant for each other based on what else is going on with the QB match game, and it remains to be seen whether Denver will need to trade up to protect its own most coveted asset in working to upgrade over Drew Lock. Fields is a good fit in terms of scheme, structure and supporting personnel under Pat Shurmur.”
Shurmur had his tough instances as an NFL head coach, however his fame as a reasonably good playcaller is well-earned. Shurmur has had proficient quarterbacks, however none with the bodily attributes of Fields, making it an excellent match — on paper.
Chris Simms, NBC Sports
- Pick: No. 32
- Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Analysis: “Bucs got everything, there’s no need on their football team. Again, I didn’t go into this with a preconceived notion of, ‘Hey, I’m gonna leave Justin Fields for 32.’ I didn’t do that. … They’re gonna go, ‘Great, this is perfect for you. Learn from Tom Brady.'”
Simms, for nonetheless good of an analyst he’s, appears to be means off the mark on his projection right here. While a slide for Fields could possibly be in the playing cards, projecting him to go all the best way behind the primary spherical does not make a lot sense. If Fields does fall, somebody will commerce as much as get him, and Simms already projected the WFT to scurry all the best way as much as choose Trey Lance in the highest 10.
In the NFL in 2021, rookie quarterbacks usually profit from taking part in immediately, and regardless that Tom Brady is (possibly?) coming into the tip levels of his profession, there isn’t any telling when Fields would be capable to get on the sector to play. Fields driving the bench for greater than a yr would instantly take away the advantage of a rookie QB deal for Tampa Bay, particularly when there isn’t any telling how lengthy they’re going to be capable to maintain the uber-talented group collectively.