Over the last few days, quarterback Justin Fields from Ohio State saw his NFL Draft stock tank, whereas Alabama QB Mac Jones saw his stock rise. If Fields slips out of the top three, teams that need a quarterback, such as the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, and New England Patriots, could potentially select him in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Justin Fields QB NFL Draft stock Carolina Panthers New England Patriots Denver Broncos Detroit Lions
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields saw his 2021 NFL Draft stock tank over the past few weeks, but with so many teams in need of a quarterback, he should still get selected in the middle of the first round. (Image: Mark J Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

When the NFL season ended, Fields was one of a handful of quarterbacks that the New York Jets considered drafting with the #2 overall pick.

The San Francisco 49ers made a huge trade with the Miami Dolphins to secure the #3 pick in the NFL Draft. However, word out of the Bay Area suggests that the 49ers are interested in Jones or Trey Lance (North Dakota State).

Which Team Will Draft Justin Fields?
  • Carolina Panthers +300
  • New England Patriots +300
  • Atlanta Falcons +400
  • Denver Broncos +400
  • Detroit Lions +500
  • San Francisco 49ers +500
  • Washington Football Team +500
  • Chicago Bears +1000

The Atlanta Falcons have the #4 pick in the draft and they need a quarterback. The Cincinnati Bengals have the #5 pick, but they drafted Joe Burrow with the top pick in last year’s draft. Burrow had the inside track to Rookie of the Year before he suffered a season-ending knee injury.

The Miami Dolphins have the #6 pick, but it looks like they’re sticking with Tua Tagovailoa.

Fields Favorites: Atlanta, Carolina, Detroit

If you look at various mock drafts, top tight end prospect Kyle Pitts is headed to the Atlanta Falcons with the #4 pick. It seems pretty obvious at this point that, if the Falcons want a QB instead, they will grab whichever quarterback the San Francisco 49ers don’t take. If the 49ers snatch Jones, then the Falcons will grab Lance with the #4 pick. If the 49ers draft Lance, then the Falcons will grab Jones with the #4 pick.

The Detroit Lions are in a tough spot. Will they stick with Jared Goff, who they acquired from the LA Rams in a blockbuster trade for Matt Stafford? Or will they keep Goff as an expensive placeholder while he mentors a young quarterback like Fields? The Lions could also use the spot to fill in other important needs like their porous offensive line.

The Carolina Panthers recently acquired Sam Darnold in a trade with the New York Jets. The Panthers are shopping Teddy Bridgewater. At this point, Bridgewater is a backup plan for teams that fail to acquire a decent quarterback in the draft.

Carolina holds the #8 pick in the draft, but the Detroit Lions are one spot ahead of them with the #7 seed. If Fields is available at that point, the Panthers would be foolish to pass on him.

DraftKings posted a prop bet on “which team will draft Justin Fields” and Carolina is the favorite at +300 odds.


Fields to Denver or New England?

John Elway has been desperate to find a quarterback who can help the Denver Broncos win another Super Bowl. He thought Drew Lock could be the answer, but Lock struggled between injuries, lack of experience, and a lackluster offensive lineup.

Will Elway draft Fields if he’s still available with the #9 pick? The Broncos pay out +400 odds if they draft Fields.

No one is more bummed out about Mac Jones’ draft stock rising than Bill Belichick. He hoped that everyone would overlook Jones and he could grab the Bama gunslinger with the #15 pick. At this point, Jones will probably get picked third. If, by chance, Fields continues to plummet, Belichick and the Patriots could grab him at #15. If Belichick passes on Fields, then you know something is rotten in Denmark, and other teams in the bottom half of the first round could avoid him as well.

The Patriots are +300 odds to draft Fields, which indicates that if he’s still on the board at #15, Belichick will take a flier on the Ohio State QB.

Long Shots: San Francisco, Washington, Chicago

Fields is +500 odds to get drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, but that number should be much higher. The 49ers are a long shot because the team expressed a keen interest in Jones or Lance.

One of the reasons they squandered multiple, future first-rounders was to select a franchise quarterback who Kyle Shanahan thinks will be the future of the franchise in the 2020s and early 2030s. At this point, the banged-up Jimmy G is too injury prone, so the 49ers want to invest in a quarterback who will be lumped together with the likes of Hall of Famers Joe Montana and Steve Young.

The Washington Football Team has the #19 pick. Alex Smith recently retired after he won NFL Comeback Player of the Year. Ron Rivera and Washington recently signed Ryan Fitzpatrick. At the least, FitzMagic is a stop-gap and one-year rental before they can attract a free agent or develop a young quarterback. Washington is +500 odds to draft Fields.

The Chicago Bears signed Andy Dalton to a contract in the offseason, but fans of Da Bears hope he’s just a safety net as a backup. If Dalton isn’t the starter, then who will be the #1 QB on their depth chart? The Bears have the #20 pick in the draft. If the Las Vegas Raiders, Washington Football Team, and New England Patriots all pass on Fields, then he could become the next QB for Da Bears. That seems like a long shot, so the Bears will have to trade up if they want to grab a free-falling Fields.