Justin Fields 'very close' to overtaking Trevor Lawrence as top QB for 2021 NFL Draft, Mel Kiper Jr. says
The 2021 quarterback class for the NFL Draft might be one of the better ones we’ve seen, at least at the top.
Both Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State’s Justin Fields are at the top of their game right now, as both are considered the top two gunslingers in college football. They’re also two of the most talented players who will be eligible for the 2021 NFL Draft.
Right now, Lawrence is getting the nod as the top quarterback in the game. He’s been a two-year starter for Clemson and led the Tigers to two national title games, winning one championship at the end of the 2018 season. Fields, on the other hand, is coming off his first season as a starter, leading the Buckeyes to a 13-1 record and a College Football Playoff appearance.
According to Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN, though, Fields isn’t too far behind Lawrence entering the 2020 season. Kiper says he could even see the Ohio State quarterback overtaking Lawrence as the top prospect at the position by the time the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft rolls around next April.
“Very close, very close, no question about it,” Kiper said on ESPN’s NFL Live. “I think that [Lawrence’s] struggles late opened the door. You can argue that point all you want, but the bottom line is facts are facts and he did struggle in those last two games.
“And I think you look at Justin Fields, he had that injury. That last pass in that game [against Clemson] would have won that football game, weave them into the final. I think you look at that team, would they have played LSU tougher? Who knows.”
Fields ended the 2019 campaign with 3,273 passing yards and 41 touchdown passes, along with 484 rushing yards and 10 more scores on the ground. He led Ohio State to a perfect regular-season record, a B1G Championship and the program’s first appearance in the College Football Playoff since 2016.
And he did all that with just three interceptions and a 67.2 percent completion rate.
“Justin Fields, three interceptions all year, great mobility and athleticism,” Kiper said. “He only had one year as a starter, he’s got to build on that in Year 2 and if he does, he will challenge Trevor Lawrence and make it a really good discussion as to who could be the first quarterback off the board.”