3. Justin Fields, Ohio State
Size: 6-3, 227
The Good: The NFL ability is all there.
The arm isn’t an issue, the running ability is going to be a problem for NFL defenses, and he’s got the size, 4.4 speed, and the unquestioned toughness everyone is looking for.
The guy probably shouldn’t have been playing in the second half of the College Football Playoff semifinal against Clemson, much less gut out an all-timer of a performance. He got banged around and kept on producing throughout his career, managing to get through various bumps and bruises to play like the franchise guy he needed to be for the Buckeyes.
Of course he had a whole lot of talent around him at Ohio State, but he was it. He was the difference between the Buckeyes being at a national championship level and being among the very, very good.
The Not-So-Good: His toughness was actually a bit of a problem at times.
He was fine on his reads more than many are letting on, and any of those concerns are likely fixable – the word checkdown will be hammered into his head from the start.
However, he seemed to want to make the big thing happen a bit too often rather than take the easy throw – and with good reason.
With the phenomenal line in front of him and the NFL receivers to throw to, he could afford to buy a little bit of time and wait for something special. It also bought him a whole lot of massive shots after waiting for the play to open up.
— NFL (@NFL) March 30, 2021
NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: Don’t overthink this, America.
It’s impossible to argue with the numbers and the production – the guy averaged close to 11 yards per throw with the Buckeyes and tossed 63 touchdown passes with just nine picks – and he was more than accurate enough on a consistent basis.
The problem is pure NFL polish. He doesn’t have the arm or uncanny accuracy of Zach Wilson, the untapped potential might not be there like Trey Lance, and he’s not the safe call like Mac Jones. However, there’s way too much talent to not take the shot that he’ll learn to get the ball out of his hands faster and not take so many hits as he grows into a a decade-plus star.
Projected Round: Top Ten Overall