When I was compiling my final NFL mock draft, I noticed a report from Ian Rapoport that made me scratch my head. With the third pick, the 49ers were down to two names at quarterback: Trey Lance and Mac Jones. I get that those two guys are talented and first-round quarterback options, but Justin Fields had long been considered a top-five pick and now he’s sliding.
San Francisco may like how Lance and Jones fit their system better and are wary of taking an Ohio State passer because of the history with that position with the Buckeyes in the draft.
But it just didn’t make sense.
First, there was a report about Fields not being motivated off the field and some teams questioning his character which proved to be blatantly false. And now there’s this report stating that he’s not even in consideration for a top-three pick after a stellar college career.
So what the heck is causing this dip in his stock and why?
Honestly, there’s no rhyme or reason behind his slip down the board but with a limited number of teams looking to grab a quarterback in the first round, it looks like he will be the topic of conversation on Thursday night.
How far will Justin Fields drop?
If Fields falls out of the top three — which is looking likely — he’s probably going to be scooped up somewhere around the 7-15 range.
The Broncos (No. 9) just traded for Teddy Bridgewater, but he’s not exactly a franchise quarterback and the Lions (No. 7) have Jared Goff but they might not be sold on him long-term. The Patriots would make sense at No. 15 overall but would they rather spend their pick on a quarterback or some talent at other necessary positions like a receiver or on the defensive side of the ball?
Could he fall to the Raiders or the Steelers? That’s very possible.
This slide seems to be inevitable and it’s ridiculous given how well he played at Ohio State in just two seasons. He passed for 5,373 yards and 63 touchdowns with just nine interceptions over the past two seasons. He showcased his dual-threat ability with 867 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. He was accurate and rarely forced anything or made bad decisions. He has good size at 6-3, 228 pounds, and has a cannon for an arm.
What more could an NFL team ask for?
This slide is going to make him that much hungrier to succeed in the NFL and if he does slide out of the top 10, he’s just going to win the Patriots a few Super Bowls as payback to the rest of the league.