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Preseason Scouting Notes: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Junior | 6’3” | 225 lbs | Kennesaw, GA

 

An accurate thrower with a quick release who has high-end mobility and shows up in big games.

 

Overview:

After transferring out of Georgia after his Freshman season, Justin Fields led the Buckeyes to the CFP semi-final in 2019 as a sophomore, narrowly losing to Clemson, and his top competition for QB1 in next year’s draft: Trevor Lawrence. Fields led an impressive Buckeyes offense, however, he rarely had to throw more than 25 passes a game. Fields’ precision passing and smart decision making made his short game deadly, and his long balls even deadlier. Ohio State didn’t ask him to carry the team with his passing, but rather with his reliability.

Strengths:

– Great ball placement on throws under 15 yards
– Zippy throw velocity on intermediate targets
– Check-down when necessary
– Composure in the pocket
– Shows great mobility on broken plays
– Impressive movement in and out of the pocket
– Has the ability to get through his progressions
– Very rarely risks dangerous throws; Incredibly safe with the ball
– Shined bright in the biggest games

Areas to improve:

– Throwing on the run
– Lower sample size
– Conservative too often
– Downfield throws
– Not super flashy
– Somewhat inconsistent greatness

Injury History:

Sprained MCL in 2019 (0 games missed)

Projection:

Fields flashed the accuracy and mobility required to perform against NFL defenses many times in 2019. Showing off his running capabilities more often this year would impress NFL coaches even more. Fields profiles as a precision passer with the ability to make big plays out of structure. He won’t be at the Patrick Mahomes level, but he has similar qualities. It is unlikely that Fields busts with his all-around great game. Expect him to be an above average quarterback at the next level, with very low turnover numbers. If his stock continues to rise, he will surely be a top 10 selection next year.

What to watch in 2020:

As a Heisman favorite, with football nation’s eyes upon him, can Fields improve his downfield throws? And can he provide enough flashy plays to take OSU to the title game in 2020? Fields played well against stellar defenses like Clemson and Michigan last year, but playing at an NFL-caliber on a weekly basis will earn him top-10 pick honors. If Fields can limit his poor showings, then he will have a shot at overtaking Trevor Lawrence as the top QB prospect in the 2021 NFL draft.

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