After Trevor Lawrence is inevitably selected first overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars, all chaos will break loose with the other 2021 NFL Draft quarterback prospects. While reports indicate that the New York Jets have settled on Zach Wilson at number two, a case can be made that any of four players might have the best career after Lawrence. Justin Fields is also very much in that conversation, but we don’t see many Fields vs Wilson comparisons because New York seems so set on the BYU prospect.
Zach Wilson vs Justin Fields comparison
However, we’ll take a closer look at Wilson vs Fields in this piece. It actually wasn’t that long ago that the Ohio State prospect was most consistently being selected second overall in the draft. As Fields embarks on his second pro day on April 14th, he’ll do his best to convince teams that he’s still a superior option as a future star.
Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons for each player in this Wilson vs Fields comparison.
Zach Wilson’s junior season at BYU was nothing short of tremendous. He threw for 33 touchdowns, and only tossed 3 interceptions, which is an extremely impressive ratio for a prospect.
He also was the unquestioned maestro of his offense, as he did not play with many other players who are slated to be high NFL draft picks.
Highest-graded draft-eligible QBs under pressure last season:
1. Zach Wilson – 76.8
2. Justin Fields – 69.8
3. Mac Jones – 69.2
4. Kyle Trask – 68.6
5. Davis Mills – 63.8 pic.twitter.com/4CNc261nG0
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 9, 2021
It’s reasonable to believe that Wilson was actually making his teammates better, instead of the other way around. He also had a very well regarded pro day, and his arm talent is considered to be special in the eyes of many evaluators.
While Wilson’s 2020 season was nothing short of tremendous, he really only just burst on to the scene this year.
Despite starting 9 games each in his freshman and sophomore seasons with BYU, Wilson did not really not light up the scoreboard. His touchdown to interception ratio in those two years was 23:12, which doesn’t jump off the page. Additionally, BYU’s schedule was not very difficult, so it remains to be seen how Wilson fares against elite competition.
On the other side of the coin, the competition that Justin Fields faced throughout his college career was incredibly stiff.
Justin Fields targeting the endzone since 2019:
🔹44 TDs (1st)
🔹24 Big-Time Throws (1st)
🔹95.7 Passing Grade (3rd) pic.twitter.com/rNcoKq4rZq
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 9, 2021
He started his college career with Georgia playing in the SEC, and had to practice and play against players in arguably the best conference in the country.
When he became the full time starter at Ohio State, Fields immediately blossomed. He threw for 41 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions as a sophomore, and has 22 touchdowns and 6 interceptions last season. His body of work as a whole certainly stands out in this draft class.
It’s not fair to lump Fields in with other Ohio State quarterbacks who haven’t had too much success in the NFL.
However, we’ve seen a few players excel with the Buckeyes under center who have not been able to get it going in the pros. Dwayne Haskins is off to a slow start in his career, and Terrelle Pryor was not an NFL quarterback for very long, either. Cardale Jones last decade, and Bobby Hoying in the 1990’s didn’t fare too well either.
If Fields is able to carve out a solid NFL career under center, he’ll be the first Buckeye quarterback to do so in a very long time.
Zach Wilson vs Justin Fields: Verdict
Even though history is working against Fields, he’s done nothing but check boxes on college football’s biggest stages.
Fans could say that Dwayne Haskins did the same thing, and it’s a fair rebuttal.
But Fields offers so much physical talent with both his arms and his legs, which is valued greatly in today’s game.
If he lands with the right team, the former Buckeye could have a great chance to succeed, especially with the draft chip on his shoulder.