Justin Fields – A Film Review (2021 NFL Rookies)

April 26, 2021

Name: Justin Fields

School: Ohio State

Size: 6’3 and 227 lbs 

I rate all QBs on a scale of 1-10 in the following areas:

Mechanics: 7.5

Pocket Awareness/Presence: 6

Progression with Reads: 8

Arm Power: 9.5 

Accuracy (Ball Placement): 9

Attitude (Aggressive/Passion): 7

Ball Security: 8

Footwork: 7

Mobility: 8

Rushing Ability: 7

I also tally the following:

Snaps: 160 

Good Ball Placement: 75

Bad Ball Placement: 24

Throwing a WR Open: 6

Checkdowns: 6

Looked Off Defenders: 7

Bad Decisions:  11

COLLEGE STATS:

2019: 238- 354 Att./67.2%/41 TDs/3 INTs

2020: 158- 225/ 70.2%/ 22 TDs/ 6 INTs

Career Rushing Yards: 1,133 yards/19 TDs/ 4.4 YPC

OVERALL: 80 /100

Fantasy Upside:  Top 3 fantasy QB and I would auto-select him at 1.2 in super flex rookie drafts

Summary

I don’t believe that he is a sure thing. He has plenty of weaknesses he needs to improve when he plays in the NFL. He can hold the ball for far too long, for one. Secondly, he really needs to up his game in identifying pressure before he takes the snap. Too often, he gets demolished by a blitzer. 

Another area of concern would be his pocket awareness. He doesn’t feel pressure and takes some unnecessary sacks with guys open underneath. That tells me he’s allowing himself to get hit because he’s unaware he’s out of time. 

There is also a LOT to like about the kid. He has a cannon arm that he can use off-platform and on the run, beautifully at times. He’s not elusive, but he can run for monster gains in a straight line. He can also extend plays and make defenses pay if they can’t cover for long periods of time. His accuracy as a whole is very good too. 

Hopefully, he goes to the 49ers, where Kyle Shanahan can work with him. If he hits his ceiling, he can be a top asset in fantasy football, no questions asked. Below are organized notes about all aspects of his game. 

Notes

Arm Talent

  • Capable of downfield back shoulder throws in good coverage
  • Throws with good touch on deep balls
  • He can float balls to his intended receivers 
  • Has enough arm power to complete tipped balls with accuracy on shorter throws
  • Typically does a good job placing throws in the right spot where the intended receiver can RAC. This is especially true on deep balls
  • Has enough arm power to throw WRs open at every level of the defense
  • Has elite arm power
  • Does a nice job throwing on the run
  • Can make every throw that any elite NFL QB can, theoretically
  • Can make off-platform throws
  • Has good arm power on the run
  • Can make incredible throws under pressure – doesn’t require all of his arm power for a lot of throws
  • Can miss wide open receivers sometimes

Mechanics

  • Has his left arm tight to his body during his entire motion 
  • His feet are aligned with his outside shoulders, as they should be
  • His upper body is nice and relaxed during the throwing process
  • Pushes off the inside of his right foot, snaps his hips to create good torque, arms follow through all of that, index fingers the last part of him that releases the ball. I give his uninterrupted throwing motion an A
  • He uses his core as his primary source of arm power
  • Turns his throwing arm into a whip 
  • He squares up to his target before he begins his wind up 
  • If he needs to shift in the pocket, he moves both feet at once when the pocket is clean
  • When it’s unclean, he can get “clicky feet” and throw inaccurate at times because his base is too narrow
  • Points his left shoulder and foot at the intended target
  • Does a nice job climbing the pocket and maintaining a proper base throughout. This helps accuracy if he fires while climbing up 
  • Under pressure, he can be inconsistent throwing with a narrow base – he’s capable of doing it correctly but doesn’t always do it
  • Quick release 
  • Usually keeps feet at the proper distance apart while going through progressions
  • There are times he throws without his left foot on the ground, making for some wild footballs

Awareness/Read Progression

  • Capable of quick reads
  • Has some inconsistent decision making show up on film
  • Waits for guys to get wide open sometimes before he’s comfortable throwing
  • Can get tunnel vision on some plays
  • Throws into triple coverage at times
  • Can freeze under pressure
  • There are times he seems very surprised or completely unaware of pressure and doesn’t feel it consistently
  • He can panic with inside pressure but also manipulate it well sometimes
  • Was caught staring down pressure in the national championship
  • He doesn’t always see underneath defenders
  • Takes sacks with open outlets sometimes 
  • Does a good job surveying field with no pressure
  • Does a good job attacking zone coverages
  • Gets the ball out quickly, especially with the lead
  • Finds outlets quickly when he does see where the blitz is coming from
  • Pressure awareness pre and post-snap is something he needs to get better at in the pros
  • Can be very indecisive at times
  • Identifies man coverage quickly and accurately enough to take advantage of it 
  • Indiana had him very confused at times in 2020
  • Can struggle to keep eyes downfield when trying to escape pressure

Athleticism 

  • He has good speed but he’s not a great runner
  • Not laterally agile
  • Will be difficult to sack 
  • Has great straight away speed and also strength 
  • Can kill a defense running in a straight line against them 
  • Good at extending plays
  • Going to be a great short-yardage runner in the NFL with decent rushing TD totals

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