NFL Draft Profile: Is risk of trading up for Justin Fields worth reward?
What does Justin Fields bring to the table, and why is he coveted in the NFL draft?
Justin Fields was a top quarterback prospect going back to his high school days in Georgia when he starred on the Series “QB1”. Fields initially went to Georgia but wound up at Ohio State, where he became a Heisman candidate and won a College Football Playoff game against Clemson.
Fields have always been a highly discussed prospect, and even if he fell, it would be hard to see him falling to 20. Should the Chicago Bears consider trading up Justin Fields? Or is he overhyped?
Fields has adequate arm strength with enough zip to get balls into tight windows. He also possesses the NFL size along with the mobility that is needed in today’s NFL. Fields does is reliable in reading the defense in pre-snap and putting himself in position to get rid of the ball fast.
When he does extend plays, he does a great job of setting his feet before throwing. Fields also can throw from unique arm slots, and the combination makes him more accurate and effective when plays go off-script than most.
When he does not get the look he expected to see pre-snap, he tends to be a beat slow in his reaction post-snap. At times he can be standing in the pocket and take unneeded sacks, or he is a step slow to leave the pocket, making his process tougher.
When Fields sees pressure that he was not expected pre-snap he can freeze for a second, but his second instinct is to turn his back to the defense and retreat backward. He struggles in these ares stepping up in the pocket without dropping his eyes. It leads to more panic decisions.
NFL player comparison
Read the reasoning before going above and beyond reacting to the comparison. Fields has a game that can resemble Russell Wilson. Wilson is much shorter, but is a bit thicker and has a bit of a better deep ball. Although, both do have a lot of arch on their downfield shots.
Fields and Wilson’s traits are most in common when the play breaks down. As noted, Fields can often be oblivious to pressure and stand in the pocket for too long. Wilson is known for taking unnecessary sacks, and while he plays well in structure, he looks to be improvising as he goes often out of the structure. Wilson also is one of few quarterbacks who can get away with spinning in the face of pressure, turning their back to the defense, and getting out of the pocket to make a play. You can see Fields accomplish this as well.
Still, while both are reckless when the play breaks down, you often wondering how he completed that pass with Fields, just like Wilson. It is the no, no, no, ok yes style of play. It takes rare physical presence, but also a calmness under pressure that not many have, but Fields and Wilson seem to possess.
Fit With Chicago Bears
You would like to think that after Ryan Pace took scrutiny in his end of the season press conference that he will be more open-minded to all quarterback options on the table. If so, a consideration to trade for Fields could be on the table.
Fields can create off-script but is better at playing within the structure. However, it is the added ability that gives Fields the chance to be a transcendent NFL quarterback. Nagy should be pleased with the way he operated and ran his offense like a point guard, and Pace should be impressed by his accolades, wins, and physical ability.
The issue will be the price and other teams not being interested in moving away. Justin Fields is an intriguing prospect.