On Tuesday, Justin Fields absolutely tore it up at Ohio State's Pro Day. His measurables are impressive, he ran a 4.44 40-yard dash, and most importantly, he threw the ball extremely well, seemingly matching the huge performance from BYU's Zach Wilson earlier in the process.
Of course, the last month leading into the NFL Draft is maximum silly season for the sport. It would be no surprise if there was maximum disinformation this year, especially with so many teams looking to get their ideal quarterbacks towards the top of the draft. After being seen at the No. 2 to Trevor Lawrence entering the year, Fields may now be the top quarterback recruit drawing the widest range of opinions.
Plenty of people, especially those who saw Fields largely dominate through two college seasons at Ohio State, think it's crazy to question him as the second-best quarterback in the draft. Others have him fifth behind Wilson, North Dakota State's Trey Lance, and Alabama's Mac Jones, in some order. One team even has Fields with a fourth round grade, per reports.
Former NFL punter Pat McAfee asked ESPN's Dan Orlovsky about what he's hearing around Fields on his daily show this afternoon, and why he may no longer be the universal QB2 in this draft. Orlovsky shared some of the criticisms that he's heard could be driving Fields' value down.
That, of course, hasn't sat with Ohio State fans and others well at all. As The Ringer's Rodger Sherman points out, Fields was right there with Lawrence in fighting to play the 2020 season, even though his NFL Draft stock was arguably as high as it was going to get ahead of the season.
Others have also mentioned the national semifinal game, in which Justin Fields overcame a nasty hip injury to throw for six touchdowns, in what will go down as his signature college performance.
Orlovsky has caught plenty of heat for sharing what he says he heard from those around the league, and tried to make clear that they're not his opinions about the Ohio State star.
Still, these things come out every year, are often unfair or from sources with an interest in seeing certain players rise and fall, and even if he doesn't share the opinions, if they're as questionable as some of these seem, they might not be worth putting into the mainstream like this. [
Dan Orlovsky on the @PatMcAfeeShow show today had some interesting quotes that he’s getting from guys in the know.
“Last guy in, first guy out.”
“I’ve heard there are some questions with Justin Fields’ work ethic.”
“Where is his desire to be a great quarterback?”
— Seth Steere (@SethSteere) March 31, 2021