2021 NFL Draft Profile: QB Justin Fields
At one point during the College Football Playoff, the NFL Draft community seemed to be willing to discuss which QB was worthy of going number one overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields had just finished battling it out, and Fields came out triumphant, despite playing through a brutal injury.
Fields wasn’t fully himself for the National Championship game, and Alabama ran roughshod all over Ohio State. However, there was still some lingering buzz that Fields may have done enough to put himself over Lawrence in some QB rankings.
Fast forward a couple of months, and you now won’t find a more polarizing QB prospect in this entire draft class. Some analysts are still willing to stand on the table for Fields and believe that he’s worthy of being the second QB drafted right behind Lawrence. Others have Fields outside their top-4 and have players like Kellen Mond ranked above him.
What exactly does Fields bring to an NFL franchise that needs to rely on him? Should you be concerned about drafting him early in your Superflex drafts?
These questions are answered here in our scouting profile on Justin Fields:
Weight: 227 lbs.
Arms: 32 1/2
Hands: 9 1/8
40-Yard Dash: 4.44
Skills Breakdown (out of 100)
Accuracy (77.5): Fields is perfect for today’s NFL and what it demands out of the QB position. He has great accuracy at all levels of the field and consistently puts the ball right in stride. Showed great development on his touch deep downfield from 2019 and has refined into a passer that can beat you at any level of the field.
Decision-Making (72): Can often struggle in decision making in quick windows. He tends to hold onto the ball a bit too long and therefore tries pressing it into tighter spaces than he needed to if he learned to throw with anticipation. He also has a bad habit of believing he can get out of any incoming sack due to his size and athleticism, whereas he needs to learn how to throw the ball away or just tuck it for a sack at that point. He is often still trying to make a play with a defender draped over him.
Mental Processing (73): Still shows signs of his inexperience as a starter and struggles to read more complex coverages from time to time. He can progress nicely through his reads, but it’s going to come down to tying it together and trusting that read and throwing the player open. All things that can be fixed.
Arm Strength (78): Has a rock-solid arm. Might never push for the top-5 arm talent in the NFL, but will be around that range. He has the ability to send it deep downfield on a rope but then can also drive it in sideline-to-sideline.
Pocket Presence (74): Calm presence in the pocket and doesn’t panic with traffic surrounding him. He doesn’t bail unless he has to and trusts that his size will be a key factor in navigating and standing in the pocket. He needs to work on keeping his eyes up downfield as he sidesteps pressure, but it’s another minor thing that can be coached up.
Mechanics (78): Has consistent mechanics and is constantly throwing from a solid foundation. He also has a solid ability to throw on the run, whether to his left or right.
Improvisation (80): Excels in this area in keeping plays alive and making things happen. A playmaker at his core and should be a valuable asset for an NFL team that doesn’t have everything schemed up perfectly every single time. They can lean back on his athleticism and play outside of structure to keep the chains moving.
Poise (75): Rises to the occasions in big games. Able to stand in well under pressure and take the big hit if he needs to. A fighter, too, as evidenced by the game against Clemson where he got injured and came right back out onto the field.
Athleticism (83): Tremendous athleticism for a player of his size. He has the ability to fill a Cam Newton-type role for an NFL team. He isn’t as big as Cam, but he plays much bigger than his weight. He should be utilized heavily as a runner and has the potential to be one of the top-5 leaders in rushing yards at the QB position in year one.
– NFL (@NFL) March 30, 2021
giving kyle shanahan justin fields will break the leaguepic.twitter.com/pa0FN3uS5r
– Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) March 26, 2021
They Said It
Projected Draft Range
Reports on Fields and his draft stock are absolutely all over the place. Some teams have Fields as a top-5 player in this class, while other teams have a 4th round grade on him. At the end of the day, though, Fields should go off the board within the first 10 picks.
Ideal Fantasy Landing Spot
The 49ers recently made a trade up to No. 3 overall, and they need a QB. Fields connected to Kyle Shanahan – with the receiving weapons in San Francisco – would set the league on fire. He’d be in the conversation for QB1 off the board in Superflex rookie drafts.
Trey Lance also received this comparison, but Fields plays the game very similar to Dak Prescott. While Fields tested much faster than Prescott, they’re both going to win similarly in the NFL, and they’re nearly identical size-wise.
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup, based on accurate consensus projections – to our Trade Analyzer – that allows you to instantly find out if a trade offer benefits you or your opponent – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.