Photo courtesy of the Associated Press
Mock draft season is every hot-take artist’s favorite time of the year, and the ongoing pandemic doesn’t seem to have them batting an eye. On Thursday, the king of the mock Mel Kiper Jr. went on ESPN’s Get Up in fiery fashion in order to express his distaste for recent conversations regarding Ohio State’s Justin Fields stock in the upcoming draft.
Finally someone says what Ohio State fans have been thinking. The criticism that Fields is a first-read quarterback is untrue on its face, but that aside, any scout that thinks Zach Wilson or Mac Jones are better prospects because of it shouldn’t be NFL scouts anymore. The comparisons made by Kiper here are absolutely correct, not because Justin Fields is the next Josh Allen or Justin Herbert, but because both those guys were overlooked despite being (thus far in their careers) the best in their respective drafts.
Some of the mock drafts to come out in the past week, namely from NFL.com, are just awful. I’ve seen Fields fall as low as 24th, yet I haven’t been offered a legitimate reason for why it is that scouts believe his ceiling is lower than Jones or Wilson. The “Ohio State quarterback” take is tired and irrelevant, and his 2019 season is far more impressive (statistically and through the eye test) than anything his contemporaries not named Trevor Lawrence.
It’s about time someone calls the scouts on their laziness, and Kiper did it as well as anyone I’ve seen since Jeff Okudah bodybagged a reporter asking the least penalized corner in the country how he planned to reduce his “sloppy play” and tendency to rack up holding and pass interference penalties.