Mel Kiper Jr. not backing down on Justin Fields' projection
It sounds crazy, but Mel Kiper Jr. might be the last draft analyst who still believes in Justin Fields. Two months after the 2020 college football season concluded, plenty of experts have dropped the former Ohio State quarterback in their projections.
Kiper is refusing to do that.
Speaking on SportsCenter Monday, Kiper stuck to his guns when asked who the No. 2 quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft was, with Trevor Lawrence considered to be the top prospect. The longtime ESPN personality still believes that title belongs to Fields.
“I’m going to stick with Justin Fields from Ohio State,” Kiper said. “I know he had those two sub-par games this year against Indiana and Northwestern but he bounced back so strong in that semifinal game against Clemson, outplaying Trevor Lawrence. Back in 2019, he was spectacular with 41 touchdown passes, only three picks. I’m not going to discount what he did in 2019 and what he did in a season interrupted with COVID. I’m going to stick with Justin Fields as the second-best quarterback in the draft. I know there’s going to be some critics out there, but I’m not one of them.”
Other analysts have Fields further down on the list. Todd McShay has BYU’s Zach Wilson ahead of the former Buckeyes and NBC’s Chris Simms has Fields all the way down as the No. 5 QB in the class.
What analysts think of Fields is largely irrelevant. It all boils down to what scouts and NFL general managers think of the former Ohio State quarterback. And in just over a month, we’ll find out how high Fields is as a draft priority.