Despite his impressive pro day performance, former Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields will throw for NFL teams again before the 2021 NFL Draft. Fields will throw on April 14, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
Unlike his pro day, Fields is expected to throw in front of 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch, according to Rapoport. Four days before Fields' pro day in Columbus, Ohio, the 49ers put themselves in position to draft a quarterback in the first round after moving from the No. 12 to No. 3 overall pick. Instead of watching Fields on March 30, the 49ers' brass was in Tuscaloosa to watch Alabama's pro day. That day, the 49ers got an up-close look at former Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, who is also vying with Fields to be one of the first quarterbacks selected in the draft. Former BYU star Zach Wilson is also in the running to be selected behind former Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who is expected to be taken by the Jaguars with the No. 1 overall pick.
During his pro day, the 6-foot-3, 228-pound Fields ran an impressive 4.43 in the 40-yard dash. He also threw an array of impressive passes that included this 65-yard bomb that drew applause from seemingly everyone in attendance.
"Yeah, I think overall, I had a solid day," Fields said of his pro day, via ESPN. Of course, as I think everybody knows, my goal in that 40-yard dash was to be at least in the 4.3s, so of course I'm kind of mad about that. But, you know, other than that, I thought I threw pretty well. I thought I just had a few missed throws, but that happens. Not everybody is going to be perfect."
While his tangibles speak for themselves, Ohio State coach Ryan Day has been outspoken when it comes to Fields' intangibles. Day's praise of Fields was largely a response to recent media criticism as it relates to Fields' worth ethic.
"The whole idea that he doesn't have a very good work ethic?" Day told Peter King of NBC Sports. "(When) those other guys are opting out (in 2020), what's he do? He petitions to have a season. He put together this petition that the Big Ten athletes all signed saying that they want to play, but they want to play safely and that they don't accept canceling the season. It was all led by Justin Fields. Where was everybody else? Where were the guys who were opting out then? You know, you don't love the game if you're doing something like that. This kid loves the game.
"I heard something about (Fields being) the last one to come in, first one to leave. First off, the scouts weren't in our building all year. Last one in? Every morning, at least every morning we could be in the building, early, he's in with (Ohio State assistant) Mickey Marotti. The guys who were self-motivated and could do things on their own, those were the ones who made it. He was unbelievable. He changed his diet, he got stronger. He did better than most. ... I think some people are being a little reckless with their comments."
Fields' intangibles were on clear display during his greatest moment as a Buckeye. Despite suffering an injury to his midsection during Ohio State's College Football Playoff semi-final game against Clemson, Fields stayed in the game and threw for six touchdown passes, an Ohio State bowl game record. All told, Fields went 22-of-28 for 385 yards while leading the Buckeyes to a 49-28 win.
"Justin is a great quarterback," former Buckeye running back and draft hopeful Trey Sermon recently told CBS Sports. "He is versatile. He is accurate. He can make things out of nothing. He is a great leader as well. I don't know why people are down on him. He is just a great player. He has battled through adversity as well; getting hurt, coming back, completing passes, throwing touchdowns and making plays to help the team succeed."