If the Buckeyes do indeed play football in the spring, it’ll likely be without their starting quarterback.
According to Football Insider Tony Pauline, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields is close to hiring an agent which would lead to Fields declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft. This comes as no surprise following the Big Ten’s decision to postpone the fall sports season including college football.
Fields, who transferred to Ohio State last year and led the Buckeyes to a 13-1 record and an appearance in the College Football Playoff only has 14 career starts in two college seasons but is currently projected as Top 5 pick and was mocked fourth overall to the Carolina Panthers in ESPN analyst Todd McShay’s “Way Too Early” Mock Draft on Wednesday.
Fields completed 67.2% of his passes for 3,273 yards, 41 touchdowns and three interceptions. He also rushed for 484 yards and ten touchdowns. Fields won the Big Ten Quarterback and Player of the Year and finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting.
Once the Big Ten postponed football to the spring, everyone seemed to figure Fields would not risk his draft stock and play in the spring if there’s even a spring schedule. He impressed everyone in his one season under head coach Ryan Day and has the arm strength and mobility NFL scouts and coaches will think can translate to the next level.
However, the limited number of starts could be a negative against Fields. Recent examples such as Mitchell Trubisky and Mark Sanchez that were top picks despite the limited numbers of starts and both did either didn’t have or are currently not having successful NFL careers which is why the scouts and NFL executives will be under even more pressure heading towards the 2021 NFL Draft because of the lack of film among draft prospects who aren’t playing this coming fall or spring.