Comparing Chicago Bears rookie Justin Fields to Aaron Rodgers’ collegiate passing
When looking back at the draft day slide Rodgers endured, then comparing it to Fields, one has to simply look at production. That’s the first and most obvious thing people are going to go check again when trying to figure it out. Rodgers sliding to 24 is a little more believable if you look at raw numbers.
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Over his two years starting for the California Golden Bears, Rodgers tossed a total of 43 touchdowns and 13 interceptions while throwing for 5,469 yards. In his final season at Cal, Rodgers completed 66.1 percent of his passes, and just 61.6 percent the previous season. Those numbers were over 25 games.
Fields, meanwhile, passed for 5,373 yards, 63 touchdowns and nine interceptions in his two years at Ohio State. He completed 70.2 percent of his passes in 2020 and 67.2 percent the prior year. This was over 22 games with the Buckeyes.
The numbers also proved that Fields took more shots downfield, averaging about 10.5 air yards per attempt in his two years with the Buckeyes. Rodgers, meanwhile, averaged just 8.6 air yards per attempt at California.
Quarterback rating doesn’t quite mean as much as it once did, especially in college. But, for what it’s worth, Rodgers’ quarterback rating in his two seasons with Cal ended up 146.6 his first year and 154.3 in his second. Fields, on the other hand, owned a rating of 181.4 his first year with the Buckeyes and 175.6 in his final season there.
Overall, if we’re looking at passing production, Fields is the better prospect. That also means he has far more pressure on him to succeed as a pass-first quarterback. Of course, Fields is known as a dual-threat guy, but in today’s NFL, he will still have to be able to throw the football. Can he live up to those college numbers?