As Ohio State QB Justin Fields’ draft inventory developments downward, everyone seems to be left looking for solutions


Justin Fields is popping out to be this draft season’s piñata to smash. That is all however official now. The Ohio State quarterback who led his workforce to a pair of Large Ten titles and Faculty Soccer Playoff berths has finished nothing however drop these days within the eyes of pundits and maybe the NFL groups who manipulate them. 

Fields got here into the draft because the clear No. 2 quarterback to be taken behind Clemson‘s Trevor Lawrence. Then, stuff occurred. Although Fields confirmed properly at his professional day showcases, puzzling whispers started to floor questioning each his work ethic and consistency. 

“I get annoyed,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day mentioned Friday. “I really feel like there are lots of people within the draft [where] some guys get a move and a few guys do not. Definitely folks have taken pictures at Justin.”

This week there was the numerous revelation that Fields has epilepsy. The neurological situation may cause seizures. mentioned Fields is managing it with remedy.

That complicates issues on a number of ranges. Now the query appears to be veering towards whether or not that data was weaponized. One reporter Friday requested Day if he was “stunned” the knowledge was “leaked.”  

“I do not know. Justin is a non-public man,” Day mentioned. “I am unsure he desires the world to know a few of his non-public issues. While you’re one of many high quarterbacks about to be taken within the draft you are uncovered to some various things. I suppose that is sort of the way in which it goes. I am positive it is not one thing he wished to share with everyone.”

Day was not particular about guys getting a “move.” That might recommend an agenda by somebody, someplace. Fields is about to grow to be a millionaire many occasions over. And positively, any Ohio State athlete is not going to be missed. Getting critiqued within the draft is a part of the deal.

Nonetheless, there’s a huge distinction between analysis, taking pictures, a authentic well being situation and the way it was revealed. Definitely a few of this can be a  response by a coach who has seen his star quarterback bleed, sweat, work after which be taken down notch or two. 

The draft might be an animal. Its machinations are past most mortals’ comprehension. A few of the discuss Fields could possibly be true. Or none of it could possibly be true. It could possibly be a case of a few mouthy scouts spreading false data so {that a} prospect drops to their workforce on the large board. 

Fields is clearly pissed about these imprecise “work ethic” rumors.  

“I truthfully take that personally,” Fields advised ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit. “That is sort of an even bigger insult to me than saying that I haven’t got a powerful arm or saying I am not correct.”

However all of it now appears completely different and maybe merciless. Fields has dropped from being the consensus No. 2 quarterback based mostly on what? Somebody must say it out loud. 

It is not like his recreation collapsed. He was superb within the Faculty Soccer Playoff, taking part in with sore ribs in components of two playoff video games. That included throwing six touchdowns in opposition to Clemson within the Sugar Bowl semifinal. He additionally fell brief in opposition to Indiana (three interceptions) and Northwestern within the Large Ten title recreation to the purpose that Day needed to depend on tailback Trey Sermon to rally previous the Wildcats. 

On the floor, Fields’ recreation would appear to be splendid for the trendy NFL. He is a shifty dual-threat prospect with a rocket arm from an elite program and a next-level aggressive spirit. 

Ignore all of it at your individual threat. Fields was one of the environment friendly throwers — ever. However for no apparent motive, he has been the prospect arrange on a mountaintop to be torn down. 

That dialogue, although, took a unique flip this week with the epilepsy revelation. 

Day confirmed Fields’ situation Friday on a Zoom name with reporters saying, “We by no means had any problem together with his well being. He was dependable and by no means missed a recreation.”

There’s the difficulty of the knowledge itself. Fields and Ohio State selected to not share his situation whereas he was in school. That is their prerogative, I suppose, though there’s a dialog available about well being considerations concerning school athletes with heightened consciousness of mind trauma. 

In the meantime, NFL groups had been finally going to seek out out what the media could not attributable to HIPAA legal guidelines. They completely need to know as a lot concerning the situation as doable. Now, what have sure people finished with it?

We’ll by no means know. The information alone might value Fields thousands and thousands in draft place. He has made it this far with none points however understands groups’ threat of investing within the face of a franchise. Given his recreation, Fields could possibly be the following Patrick Mahomes. Given his well being historical past, he could possibly be a threat. 

How a lot of any of that’s taking pictures at Ohio State’s quarterback? 

Day understands that being the Buckeyes’ quarterback is like “being the shortstop of the New York Yankees.” Scrutiny is coming whether or not you prefer it or not. The glass that surrounds the doorway to the Woody Hayes Athletic Heart may as properly signify a fish bowl. 

True, statistically, Fields didn’t have nearly as good a season as he did in 2019. COVID-19 intervened, hitting Ohio State notably arduous. The Large Ten needed to change its guidelines simply so the Buckeyes might qualify for the convention’s championship recreation. 

“I am not making an attempt to be overdramatic nevertheless it was actual,” Day mentioned. “We’ll be speaking about this 20 years down the highway.”

However keep in mind that is what Fields, Day and the remainder of Ohio State wished — a season within the midst of the pandemic. So let’s not complain too loudly, Bucks. 

Let’s simply hope imprecise rumors a few unbelievable participant and particular person are as unhealthy because it will get. There’s an NFL profession ready to be launched. However there may be additionally a wholesome life to be lived.



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