With Aaron Rodgers and Jordan Love, the Green Bay Packers are set atop the depth chart at quarterback. However, with backup Tim Boyle signing with the Detroit Lions in free agency, Green Bay could use a developmental prospect.
Ohio State’s Justin Fields is our No. 2-ranked quarterback.
For a short time upon arriving at Ohio State after transferring from Georgia, Justin Fields wanted to go back home to Kennesaw, Ga.
“Justin calls me up and says, ‘Hey, Dad. Come get me,’” Fields’ father, Pablo, told the Columbus Dispatch.
Fields wanted to re-enroll at Georgia, where he was a backup to Jake Fromm in 2018 but left after allegedly being called the N-word by a Georgia baseball player.
“He just told me to stay in it, to pray about it and just trust in God,” Justin said. “It was crazy because the next day I met a few friends, and I felt comfortable from there.”
Father, as they say, knows best. A former Eastern Kentucky football player and Marine, he knew how to bring the best out of his son. From the Dispatch:
When Justin got a “C” in sixth grade, Pablo hauled him off to Walmart. He bought him a sweatsuit two sizes too small and unfashionable Velcro-fastened tennis shoes. He made Justin wear those in shame for three weeks.
“He didn’t get another ‘C,’” Pablo said.
Justin is thankful for his father’s tough love.
“That’s kind of what’s made me into the man I am today,” he said.
Fields turned in two brilliant seasons in leading Ohio State to Big Ten championships and trips to the College Football Playoffs. In 22 games, he completed 68.4 percent of his passes for 5,373 yards with 63 touchdowns vs. nine interceptions. He added another 867 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground.
While some players opted out of the season due to COVID, Fields was a driving force behind the Big Ten season taking place at all. He started a #WeWantToPlay petition at MoveOn.org that collected more than 302,000 signatures.
“For me, it’s really just for the love of the game,” Fields said on Good Morning America. “My love for Ohio State, my love for my coaches and teammates. Really just the safety reasons. There’s a lot of people on our team that feel safer in the facility. Having us playing football in the facility weekly, daily, I think that will keep us safe from the virus.”
In 2020, Fields got the Buckeyes to the national championship game. In the semifinals vs. Clemson, he put up a legendary performance with a barrage of touchdowns after taking a vicious shot to the ribs.
The competitiveness he put on display that night showed up as a kid.
“We challenged him — never let him win anything,” his mom told Cleveland.com. "So if we’re playing Connect Four, I’m not letting you win. If we’re playing checkers, I’m not letting you win. You have to beat me. “That was always his mentality — that he’s got to figure it out. I think that helped to shape his leadership skills.”
Measureables: 6-foot-3, 228 pounds (unofficial).
Stats and accolades: Fields finished third in Heisman Trophy balloting in 2019 and seventh in 2020. Following both seasons, he was named the Big Ten’s Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year. In 2020, he was named the Chicago Tribune’s Big Ten Player of the Year. In an abbreviated eight-game season, Fields completed 70.2 percent of his passes for 2,100 yards with 22 touchdowns vs. six interceptions.
NFL Draft Bible Says: The ultimate dual-threat quarterback, Fields is a thick-built kid that is close to impossible to take down one-on-one and throws a heater from his right hand with a lot of velocity. He has great mobility, ability to break tackles with arm strength and accuracy to keep opposing defenses honest.