There’s been a lot of chatter about Chicago Bears 1st round pick Justin Fields. While we know he was nothing short of electric at Ohio State, Fields had a pro day and NFL workouts that have been even more enticing. I wanted to break down Justin’s ability in many facets of the quarterback position. I also want to add some insight as to where I see Fields in comparison to those who are playing the game currently and even those who have come before him.
The Chicago Bears have something special with Justin Fields of Ohio State.
Speed: Fields ran a 4.4 40 yard dash which ranked the fastest in his class among quarterbacks. Justin Fields has speed that compares to the league’s fastest dual-threat QB’s which puts him in a category all alone with names like Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray. While those guys have lightning speed, they don’t have the physical ability that Fields has.
At 6’3 230 lbs, Bears fans have a lot to be excited about, Fields is an explosive runner who has the ability to evade pressure and scamper for game-breaking plays. Running a 4.4 40 makes fields one of the league’s biggest and most physical runners. I personally think Fields will run in-game speed up to par with similarities most familiar with Ryan Tannehill of the Tennessee Titans.
Size: He possesses size traits most similar to Dak Prescott. Prescott stands at 6’2 and weighs 225. Dak’s thick stature is in line with Fields making him an extremely tough task to bring down whether it’s in the backfield or downfield in the running game.
Arm Strength: In line with Field’s 6’3 frame, Justin possesses rocket arm ability. He has a tremendous amount of arm strength and can throw the ball on a laser into tight windows. He has generational arm strength that allows him to abuse the secondary in high low cover 3 reads as well as boundary throws before cover two safeties can get over the top.
With the mobility that Fields brings to the table, he’ll likely see a lot of cover 4 at the next level. His arm strength should allow him to fit the ball into tight quarters coverage. That will be fulfilling the route tree in scenarios where he’ll be asked to throw deep out routes as well as corners and into a linebacker or safety and handed off tight zone coverage up the seam. On tape, Justin Fields’ arm strength compares most to Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers.
Moxy/Footwork: Moxy is a trait in the quarterback position that cannot be taught. He has play extender tendencies like his ability to use Josh Allen-type footwork in the pocket. He is able to release from edge rushers which allows him to get outside and keep eyes open deep downfield. His slippery pocket presence and off-balance throwing outside the tackle box allow Fields to be the next Deshaun Watson in the moxy category of greats.
QB IQ: While most of the critics ahead of the 2021 draft knocked Fields for his football intelligence and inability to make pre/post-snap reads, it’s become very transparent that Fields isn’t buying into all of the criticism. Fields took the aptitude test along with other draftees and previous NFL superstars and scored off the charts.
While scoring has always come easy for Justin on the field, it’s also been pretty easy in the classroom as well. A score of 100 is considered a very good score and Fields posted a score of 130 showing that his brains are right where they need to be to succeed at the next level.
Fields, much like Big Ben, is an aggressive, decisive thrower who can challenge all three levels of coverage. Personally, the only thing I would like to see Fields accomplish is taking what the defense gives him with smart decision-making as opposed to always trying to take the home run type shot.
Toughness: Fields has shown time and time again how tough he truly is. I think this is partially the reason why so many people admire and respect his game. In the Big10 Championship, Fields took a ton of hits as it took the Buckeyes quite some time to really get the offense rolling.
Although they turned to featured back Trey Sermon, Fields scrambled on key downs and used his physicality to get the job done. Against Clemson in the Sugar Bowl, Fields was battle-tested beyond belief and took a major shot from Clemson standout linebacker James Skalski. The crushing blow broke the ribs of Fields in the third quarter.
Fields finished the game and stood tall in the pocket delivering some of the most impressive throws of his career. On two weeks’ rest, he faced Alabama in the National Championship. Justin has the play-hurt mentality of a legend before his time, Brett Favre.
Fields, a gunslinger who sits in the pocket with a pass-first mentality, is willing to take hits in order to deliver the ball downfield. As a Bear fan, I think the future is bright for the 11th pick out of Ohio State. He certainly has the mind, body, and skill to be a Sunday superstar.