If the 2021 NFL Draft season has given us anything, it has been a variety of absurd takes on Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields.
First, there were anonymous sources questioning his “work ethic.” Then, some openly wondered if he could throw past his first read, which the Draft Network determined he could – and more accurately than any of the draft’s other QBs.
ESPN analyst Chris Mortensen, however, might take the cake for the weirdest take of them all.
“People don’t realize that Justin Fields was a big-time high school baseball player,” Mortensen said on the network. “… He was actually going between two sports, and then the pandemic…those type of things might have messed with his mechanics a little bit.”
Couple of things here. For one, Fields has not played baseball since 2018, his final year of high school in Harrison, Georgia. He has had a full three years of training as just a quarterback.
Additionally, several of the NFL’s best quarterbacks – Kyler Murray, Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson – were also serious baseball players. Murray was drafted in the first round by the Oakland A’s. Wilson was drafted by the Yankees and regularly attends spring training. Mahomes’ father was an MLB pitcher. All three played baseball in college.
The Ohio State quarterback is still expected to be taken in the top half of the first round, perhaps as early as No. 3. Only time will tell if the swirling speculation around Fields will cause him to slide on April 29.