Ohio State: Justin Fields
With the seventh overall pick, the Detroit Lions select quarterback Justin Fields from Ohio State.
Well, we are off to a good start. After Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson were taken early on in this draft, Justin Fields somehow slipped through the cracks to the Detroit Lions seventh overall. I don’t expect this will happen, but we can’t help but select the dynamic dual-threat quarterback out of Ohio State for this exercise.
Fields is projected to be a franchise quarterback at the NFL level. I understand Ohio State quarterbacks have failed to positively impact the NFL level in recent years, but I do believe Fields will kick that narrative.
Just think, Cardale Jones, Terrelle Prior, Dwayne Haskins, Braxton Miller, and Troy Smith all failed to make an impact at the NFL level as a quarterback. Prior had his day in the spotlight playing as a receiver, and Miller is still finding his way as a pro, working as a gimmick receiver usually out of the slot.
More recently, J.T. Barrett excelled with the Buckeyes but floated around as an undrafted free agent but has not been able to latch on thus far.
So, I understand the knock-on Fields, knowing the history of ‘system’ Buckeye quarterback’s in recent years, but I don’t think it’s fair to lump Fields into this category. Fields is a 6-foot-3, 228-pound QB that can take off and burn a defense with his legs.
Fields won’t be a Lamar Jackson-esque runner, but who is? Fields is more like Russell Wilson. The Buckeye signal-caller has the ability to maneuver in the pocket, and when protection breaks down, he can get loose and frustrate the heck out of a defense. He can make a would-be tackler miss with ease, and his thick, powerful frame makes for a tough tackle.
The 21-year old is a strong-armed quarterback and has proven to display the proper touch on his throws when necessary with above-average accuracy.
After spending a year with the Georgia Bulldogs sitting behind Jake Fromm, Fields entered the transfer portal. Fields completed 67.2% of his passes as a sophomore, totaling 3,273 yards, 41 passing touchdowns, and just three interceptions as Ohio State’s starter.
This past season his numbers decreased some but don’t let that fool you. Fields completed 70% of his passes, throwing for 2,100 yards totaling 22 passing touchdowns and six interceptions over Ohio State’s eight games due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Over his three-year college career, Fields totaled 1,133 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. PFF rewarded Fields with an overall grade of 91.5 in 2019 and 93.5 in 2020, both elite marks.
This would be a dream come true for the Detroit Lions. Sure they just added Jared Goff, but there is no reason Fields can’t start his first year by sitting behind Goff. Fields is far too talented to pass up.
If Fields proves to be NFL ready, Detroit can start Fields and let the veteran Goff back him up. Goff can be cut in two years by the Detroit Lions for nothing saving $25 and $26 million in cap space for the final two years of his four-year deal.
Pro Football Focus Draft Grade: A+