On Friday night, we will have the opportunity to get an up-close and personal look at two of the top-rated college football quarterbacks in the nation when Justin Fields and the Ohio State Buckeyes take on Trevor Lawrence and the Clemson Tigers in the College Football Playoff semifinals.
Lawrence is the real deal and will most certainly be the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, while I have made it pretty clear that I do not have high expectations at all for Fields as I am not sold that he has what it takes to be an NFL franchise signal-caller.
One person who agrees with me is former Michigan WR Desmond Howard, who recently called out both Fields and Ohio State.
“He didn’t reach those expectations,” Howard said. “He just hasn’t had a great season. When he played against teams that had a competitive pulse like Indiana or in the Big Ten Championship Game with Northwestern, he didn’t play well. He played so badly that they won those games in spite of how he played, not because of how he played. When you’re looking at a guy not playing well in the big games, then that’s going to knock his draft down some. That’s what he’s experiencing now. The Clemson game is a huge money game for Justin Fields.”
Howard added that Ohio State not being a school that produces good quarterbacks could also play a factor in where Fields selected in the 2021 NFL Draft.
“I don’t think that these GMs or anybody like that are comparing him to Dwayne Haskins. But when you’re talking about drafting a guy No. 1, then you have to factor in everything possible,” said Howard on ESPN’s Get Up! “If he comes from a program where they don’t have a history of developing players at his position where they will be successful at the next level, then you would be a complete idiot not to look at that factor. I’m not saying that’s going to weigh as heavily as other factors and statistics, but you must look at that if you’re going to draft him in the first round.
“Now, if he’s going to be a third-round pick or a fourth-round pick, that’s a different ball game. But you have to look at the development of players.”
Damn, Desmond! I mean, I pretty much agree with this assessment but third or fourth round? Personally, I would take him at the end of the first round if I am a team that needs a QB.