Former NFL general manager Charlie Casserly of NFL.com has finally checked in with his first official mock draft of the 2021 offseason and he has quite the selection for the Pittsburgh Steelers included in it. Casserly has the Steelers selecting Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields mocked to the Steelers at 24th overall in the first round and below is his reasoning for that.
Even though the Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger are planning to continue their partnership, I don’t see the veteran playing much longer. In a stunning turn of events, Fields slides all the way to No. 24 (obviously, it won’t be a surprise if he goes much earlier than this) and Pittsburgh pounces at the chance to land a talented successor for Big Ben. Sitting behind a future Hall of Famer for a year is a prime spot for the Ohio State prospect.
Well, this is a quite a surprise because most draftniks have Fields being long gone off the draft board by the time the Steelers 24th overall selection in the first-round rolls around. It would, however, be interesting to see if the Steelers would indeed jump on Fields if indeed he were to fall to them and especially on the heels of veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger now being expected to return for his 18th NFL season in 2021. Fields is the fourth quarterback that Casserly has being selected in the first round of his inaugural 2021 mock draft.
Fields, 21, registered 5,373 passing yards with 63 touchdowns and nine interceptions, to go along with 867 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns in his two seasons at Ohio State after transferring there in 2019 after playing his freshman season at Georgia. He was a 2019 finalist for the Heisman Trophy after putting up record-setting numbers for the Big Ten champion Buckeyes. He announced in January that he was declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft as an underclassman.
Below is what Pro Football Focus wrote about Fields in their annual draft guide.
You’ll hear about the knocks on Fields throughout this draft process, from the track record of Ohio State quarterbacks to his ugly games against Indiana and Northwestern to his slow processing and decision-making. I’m not here to say those concerns aren’t valid, but the physical tools and leadership he brings to the position are too great to ignore. Over the course of his career, Fields has been one of the most accurate quarterbacks we’ve ever charted. In his first game against Nebraska this season, he didn’t let go of a single off-target pass. Add in his rushing ability, and that’s a winning combo.
We have yet to post a draft scouting report profile on Fields. We should, however, have done on him in the next few weeks. In the meantime, below are some highlights from Fields’ 2020 season.