With the 2020 season officially over and the 2021 NFL Draft order set, mock drafts are coming in from all over the media landscape. Last week, we discussed an interesting NFL.com mock draft from Chad Reuter which sent Justin Fields, Travis Etienne, and Ronnie Perkins to Atlanta over the first three rounds. This week, we’ve got another NFL.com mock, this time from noted scout and personnel man Daniel Jeremiah.
It’s only a first-round mock, so you’ll have to use your imagination for the rest of the draft. But Jeremiah adds even more fuel to the “QB at 4” fire, as he has the Falcons selecting Ohio State QB Justin Fields at 4th overall. If you’d like to read Jeremiah’s full mock, you can find it here.
Jeremiah doesn’t exactly drop any insider information with this pick, but here’s his explanation for the selection:
I have Trey Lance ranked ahead of Fields in my top 50, but Fields’ athleticism could lead Atlanta to pursue a homecoming for the Georgia native.
As The Falcoholic’s resident Trey Lance lover, even I am pretty shocked to see DJ slot Lance ahead of Fields in his rankings. I totally understand the fascination with Lance’s traits and upside, but Fields has a lot more experience and has played against a drastically higher level of competition. Lance could have a higher ceiling overall, but Fields is a much safer prospect.
Still, getting Fields at 4 would be tremendous for the Falcons. Notably, there are no trades in Jeremiah’s mock, and Fields may not be likely to make it past #3 with the Dolphins seemingly poised to trade out of that spot. But if he were available at 4, it would be a no-brainer to scoop up the athletic QB. Fields is further along technically than Lance and won’t have to make as big of a leap in competition, but he’d still benefit from a year behind Matt Ryan to settle in to the speed of the NFL.
It also follows a recent trend of mock drafts—particularly on NFL.com—that send a QB to the Falcons at 4. Reuter (Fields), Jeremiah (Fields), and Bucky Brooks (Zach Wilson) all had Atlanta taking QB early, with just Lance Zierlein going after a non-QB (CB Patrick Surtain). I don’t know if this is because they have inside information on the Falcons preferences, or if it’s simply the “buzz” of the current moment, but it’s something worth monitoring as we approach the 2021 NFL Draft.
How would you feel about the selection of Justin Fields at 4? Would you take him over Trey Lance if both were available?