ESPN analyst explains why Justin Fields isn't the No. 1 QB for the 2021 NFL Draft right now
There’s no question that Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields is considered one of the best at his position heading into the 2020 college football. Right now, though, many have the rising junior behind Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence as the top-ranking QB for the 2021 NFL Draft.
After seeing both play, it’s easy to see why the two are considered the two best quarterbacks in college football and by a pretty wide margin. Though Fields hasn’t quite done enough to surpass Lawrence as the top prospect for next year’s draft, there’s a good chance the Buckeye could emerge as the top passer available if he enjoys another great season in Columbus.
On ESPN’s Get Up, analyst Domonique Foxworth explained why he thinks Fields hasn’t been labeled as the top quarterback for the 2021 draft just yet. Some of it stems from his time at Georgia.
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“Once you get further away from the games … it’s easy to evaluate a game and say, ‘this team won, so this player must be better than this player,’” Foxworth said, according to 247Sports. “There’s so much more that coaches, GMs and talent evaluators look at. From everything to height and weight to hand size to times on particular drills. Those things carry a lot of weight in different buildings. When you get further away from football and people go back and watch those games, they can find mistakes that might be missed. Dropped interceptions. Things that don’t show up in the stat sheet.
“Fields is interesting because (Jake) Fromm didn’t go No. 1 overall. Sitting behind Fromm isn’t the same as (Joe) Burrow behind Dwayne Haskins, who ended up putting up 50 touchdowns in a season. That’s different. Maybe there’s more questions. If he puts together two really good seasons, he’s already had one, maybe those things go away, but people will wonder why he didn’t beat out Jake Fromm, who wasn’t even a first-round pick.”
Fields enjoyed plenty of success in his first season as a starter at Ohio State, leading the Buckeyes to a 13-1 season, a B1G title and a College Football Playoff appearance. He accounted for more than 3,500 yards and 50 touchdowns as a first-time starter in one of the top conferences in the sport.
While Foxworth’s analysis about breaking down game film is accurate, it seems a bit harsh to knock Fields for sitting behind Fromm at UGA as a true freshman.
Regardless of what is said about him right now, Fields will have a chance to become the top quarterback in the 2021 draft with a strong season in Columbus.