2021 NFL mock draft: ESPN’s Todd McShay has Justin Fields tumbling

If you’re a fan of Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, you probably won’t enjoy the latest 2021 NFL mock draft from ESPN’s Todd McShay.

While some have debated the gap between Fields and Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, McShay has Fields falling out of the top 10 picks entirely, coming off the board at No. 15 overall to the New England Patriots.

After projecting Lawrence at No. 1 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars, McShay sends BYU’s Zach Wilson to the Atlanta Falcons at No. 4 overall.

Here’s his explanation:

OK, it’s time. And what a terrific outcome this would be for coach Bill Belichick. Fields fell to No. 15 here because we aren’t doing trades in this mock. There’s very little chance he makes it this far down the board, especially after his six-touchdown performance in the Sugar Bowl quieted some big-game concerns. Someone will move up to get him.

But what a nice fit Fields makes in New England. The Patriots tied the Giants for the fewest passing touchdowns in the NFL this season with 12, and New England joined the Broncos as the only teams with more interceptions thrown than TDs (14). Cam Newton, who was largely ineffective this season, will turn 32 in May and is set to be a free agent again. Jarrett Stidham doesn’t appear to be the guy, either. Tom Brady is no longer walking through that door, and it’s a different era for the Patriots’ passing offense. But Fields would change that, with plenty of zip on his vertical shots and an ability to create when things break down.

Even without trades, it’s shocking to see multiple teams with a potentially significant need for a young quarterback pass on Fields. It’s one thing to have the New York Jets pass on Fields at No. 2 overall (they shouldn’t), but to do the same with the Detroit Lions (No. 7 overall), Carolina Panthers (No. 8 overall) and San Francisco 49ers (No. 12 overall) is hard to imagine.

Other surprising moves in this projection? The Philadelphia Eagles passing up LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase for Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons at No. 6 overall, Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade still cracking the top 15 after struggling for much of the 2020 season, and the Miami Dolphins doubling up at wide receiver while ignoring the offensive line (as well as taking Alabama’s DeVonta Smith over Chase at No. 3 overall).

To check out McShay’s full first-round projection at ESPN.com, click here.

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source https://sports.yahoo.com/2021-nfl-mock-draft-espn-152028233.html?src=rss

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