Justin Fields wouldn’t be outdone if he “falls” to become the fifth quarterback on the board in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. The Ohio State product, once considered the QB’s clear No.2 prospect behind Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence saw the meteoric surges of BYU’s Zach Wilson, Alabama’s Mac Jones and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance quickly change the storyline.
It’s not that Fields suddenly became an inferior passer and athlete, it’s just those other QBs, between the comfy floors and the exciting high ceilings, that have become more appealing to particular teams that choose top of the line. Draft – the Jaguars, Jets and 49ers.
MORE NFL PROJECT: Complete 7-Round Mockup | Top 100 large boards
The Falcons at No.4 have Matt Ryan and don’t have an immediate need for a QB. The Bengals at No.5 (Joe Burrow) and the Dolphins at No.6 (Tua Tagovailoa) won the first round QBs in 2020. The Lions at No.7 (Jared Goff) and the Panthers at No.8 (Sam Darnold) may not be ruled out taking a QB, but they both just traded for young veterans.
That would line up the Broncos, looking for an improvement from Drew Lock, at worst to land Fields at No.9. But if Denver passes, Fields becomes a wildcard to land anywhere in the first round. It’s hard to expect a dramatic drop, however, with several teams jumping on a falling Fields before the final twelve picks. Here are the four
14. Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings have been a forgotten team when it comes to the potential to hide a first-round QB with 2022 more in the lead. Kirk Cousins has had a solid season, but he’s 33 and isn’t signed beyond next season. Minnesota can trade Cousins the next offseason and get $ 35 million under the cap before its free agency.
The team should look at the offensive line, linebacker and cornerback if Fields is long gone, but if he’s there, his advantage in their heavy offense with good receivers and a solid tight end situation would be an alternative. intriguing. Keep in mind that half of the division is undergoing a QB change (Bears with Dalton, Lions with Goff) and the Packers have an option (Jordan Love) to think about it.
The Vikings may want to stay one step ahead of QB and put their succession plan in place sooner than expected. This is the team that could get the Patriots to trade to ensure they get down fields. For the Bears and Washington, they also have to worry about the 17th-place Raiders.
15. New England Patriots
The Patriots should watch carefully what happens to see if they have a reasonable opportunity to land Fields to team up with QB Cam Newton Bridge. The same is true if Jones or Lance is the one who slips.
New England could move up to 8th in a deal with Carolina, but a more comfortable scenario will target Dallas in 11th or Philadelphia in 12th. If the Patriots don’t go up, their best bet for a double threat that matches their new attacking style is Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond in a later round. If an opportunity presented itself to Fields, it would be tempting to respond.
MORE: Top 10 QB Ranking in 2021 NFL Draft
19. Washington Football Team
Washington can be put in the same category as Chicago, a mediocre team in last year’s playoffs trying to rebuild their CV with a better offense going forward. He also pays a one-year quarter-bridge Ryan Fitzpatrick $ 10 million for 2021. With WFT regaining a spot ahead of Chicago in the second round at No.51, he can also tackle the position there with Kyle Trask from Florida or some other. ferryman.
Don’t be fooled that Washington got burned by Ohio State product Dwayne Haskins midway through the 2019 draft. Fields is a different style of perspective and the football team can’t ignore the value at a position of need in the near future. Like bears, getting fields from a drop rather than a swap is more doable.
20. Chicago Bear
The Bears may well integrate Fields into their offense with Matt Nagy and Bill Lazor because Andy Dalton, on a one-year contract, is their bridging solution at best. They have a dose of aggression to resolve the position, at a time when rumors have been raised in long-term trading for Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson. They have to think more of the ceiling than the floor for QB, which gives Fields and Lance more appeal than Jones.
Chicago is in a tough spot for a trade, having to skip New England and Washington to get in position for Fields. This will be the team that most hopes for a direct free fall.