Justin Fields is and always has been an elite prospect. Since high school, he has rivaled Trevor Lawrence as the best QB prospect, whether it be going into college or going into the pros. However, during the draft process this year, a lot of misconceptions and false narratives swarmed the air surrounding Fields. From his “inability to throw past his first read” to his “lack of ability to read defenses” — all things not even close to the truth.
As most know by now, Justin Fields ultimately ended up falling in the NFL draft, with the Bears trading up to take him 11th overall as the 4th QB drafted, but I’ve stuck with my stance that he is the best QB in the class and my QB1 for this group of rookies.
After watching every preseason snap of Justin Fields, I’m still extremely confident in the talent. The only concern that I have with Fields is in the Bears franchise’s ability to give him a proper supporting cast and weapons. However, this concern doesn’t affect my outlook on Fields after watching him perform in the preseason and my already confident assessment of him as a prospect. He has elite abilities and will quickly show he is a top QB in this league.
I put together different clips and have broken them down play by play. Not all of them are highlight-worthy plays, as seeing the bad on film is just as important as seeing the good.
Note: We do not own the rights to any of these highlights. All credit to the NFL Network.
Backed up to his own end zone, Fields demonstrates excellent poise while under pressure, escapes the collapsing pocket, and makes a nice throw across his body while on the run.
An incompletion on this pass here, but I don’t put this on the fault of Fields. Beautiful pass with great placement, I’m confident that Allen Robinson comes down with this pass, but Fields isn’t targeting Allen Robinson on this play.
This was a dangerous play here by Fields and should have been an interception. This isn’t a typical thing you see from Fields but I felt it was something that should be noted. I’m not sure if he didn’t see the defender underneath or overestimated his own arm talent. However, the unusual platform due to a defender in his face is likely a big contributor to the bad throw. Either way, it wasn’t the best of decisions, but with his usual, proper technique, this is a throw he can make.
His dual-threat ability is on full display in this clip. With quick pressure and no one open, Fields scrambles and uses a good spin move to make the first defender miss. However, he makes a rookie mistake and doesn’t keep the ball tucked away, which leads to a strip and turnover. This was a play he can learn from, demonstrated by his ability to keep the ball safe throughout the rest of preseason.
Another knock on Fields was that he routinely held onto the ball for too long. Context goes a long way with this. Fields is always looking to make the play and doesn’t take the check down unless it is an absolute last resort. He demonstrates excellent poise in the pocket while under pressure. Paired with his dual-threat ability and a good feel for the pocket, he’s able to take longer to throw. He steps up in the pocket as it collapses, scrambles right to give his receivers more time to get open, and make a great throw on the run.
Play action bootleg pass here on first and ten. Similar play calls are going to keep teams on their toes playing against Fields with his athleticism and running ability. Fields drifts right on the bootleg, directs his WR while on the run to find the open zone, and delivers a nice pass to move the chains on first down.
Beautiful strike here on first and fifteen. This is a “go up and get it” ball for the WR. The ball has good placement, a common theme you’re going to see with Fields. Fields is confident in making this a jump ball pass as the defender still had his back turned.
Defenses continuously have to worry about Fields running with the ball. As he scrambles right, he pulls the defender off his coverage assignment, which leads to an open receiver and the first down on third and nine.
Shoves a defensive end off of him and takes off for the rushing TD. Just another example of his rushing ability and another play Andy Dalton can not make.
Most will quickly write this play off as bad defense in a pre-season game. I call this a good offensive play scheme and the perks of having Justin Fields as your QB. Play action bootleg with Fields, the defense has to respect Fields as a runner, Fields pulls a lot of the defense to the right side of the field, while Jesse James slips out late to the left for a wide-open six points.
Another example of a good throw and ball placement and me being much more confident that an elite receiver such as Allen Robinson is coming down with this ball. Give Fields some proper weapons, please. Just a reminder, Fields is going to be the best QB Allen Robinson has ever had by a lot.
Beautiful deep pass in the collapsing pocket with a pursuing linebacker breathing down his neck. Shows zero concern about possibly taking a big hit and delivers a strike.
Play 568 of what Fields can do that Dalton can not.
The Bills’ defensive line was continuously applying pressure to Fields. Andy Dalton would have struggled badly against this pass rush. But Fields is able to step up in the pocket to avoid the rush and then pick up a nice gain on the ground.
The Bears’ offensive line was continuously getting beaten by the Bills’ defensive line and didn’t offer much time for things to open up for Fields to move the ball downfield. But the positive outlook is Fields continuously showing good pocket awareness and poise under pressure. He shows good pocket movement here and makes a nice “Mahomes-esque” sidearm pass.
Fields’ ability to escape pressure and avoid sacks is up there with the best. That ability is needed when playing for the Bears. Andy Dalton is 100% taking a sack here.
The pass seen across the world. This play blew up all over social media after Fields made this throw. While on the run, Fields makes a beautiful pass in the end zone near the sideline, his ball placement is truly elite.
Justin Fields is a rookie NFL quarterback, and you can definitely see that at times on film. But his talent is undeniable and he remains my QB1 for this rookie class. He may not play for the best franchise or have the best current situation, but landscapes can change quickly in the NFL. Ultimately, I believe in the pure talent that Justin Fields possesses, so I’m not fading him due to situation. Remember: Talent over Situation. Justin Fields can have a Deshaun Watson-type career arc on the field — he may not play for the best team but will produce top fantasy finishes and be an elite NFL quarterback.