Zach Wilson & Justin Fields
“Very cool dynamic. Very competitive dynamic. Yet, they were always very good about complimenting each other,” Beck said via Albert Breer. “Like if someone made a good throw, they would say it: Great shot. But at the same time, if one of them made an unbelievable throw, you bet the next one was going to try to match it. That happened a lot. You see in their pro day scripts, there were some similarities, because them together, as they would go through the types of throws we wanted to show, a lot of times they were on the field at the same time and so, ‘Yeah, I want that in mine,’ and the other person says, ‘I want that in mine as well.’ I think what it did, it gave them a glimpse into what it’s like to compete at a professional level. Both those guys are going to be very high draft picks, both guys are very talented. And that’s what it’s like in the NFL. You’re competing with very talented people day-in and day-out. So I think not only was it a great experience for them, but it’s going to be great preparation for them to be ready for what the NFL is like. Here’s the other thing I love: You know they showed up each day trying to be their most efficient. There were no slack days, there was no, ‘Eh, my accuracy was just O.K.’ Every day those guys strapped it up, they were trying to be the best they could be, which is great as part of the culture and environment they set.”
Beck thinks Fields’ baseball background helped him develop into a strong quarterback prospect, and made him easier to help train for the draft.
“It excited me for some of the things I know quarterbacks with baseball background bring to the table. One of the biggest things is where did they play, were they a middle infielder? When guys are middle infielders they have the ability to throw the ball from funny body positions, they can change arm angles, usually they have an elite level of hand quickness to be able to, in baseball terms, go ball in the glove, out of the glove, turning the double play ball. All those things—very quick hands, quick release—so to see somebody with his skill set that I knew had a background in that, those are some of things I was going to want to draw out of him in training.”
However, Beck believes that Fields is already pretty developed as a player, and his training is more about taking that next step as a player.
“There were some minor things we could do in terms of weight positioning, where his front shoulder posture was. It’s the small things you work on with guys that are in the NFL. The thing about Justin, I’m gonna back up, sometimes we get guys from college and immediately they need a stronger arm or immediately there are throws they need to get better at. Justin can make any throw on the field; Justin has a very strong arm. It’s, O.K., how can we get that to happen faster, how can we get that to happen in a smaller space, how can get that to happen, when you’re making it quicker, more accurate? Those types of things. … It’s really similar to what we get when we get an NFL starter that comes to us in the offseason and says I want to enhance my game.”
Finally, Beck thinks Fields has been very willing and able to learn and grow, which is necessary going from Ohio State to the NFL.
“For Justin, a lot of the time, their scheme gave players an opportunity to win. So where other teams may say, Hey, this underneath back is doing this, let’s get off and go here, at Ohio State, there was a lot of trust in the guys around him, believing those guys were going to make a play. And he played that way. No one can argue with the success. The guy played in the national title game. The guy has an unbelievable TD to INT ratio. The guy threw for a lot of touchdowns in both years as a starting quarterback. You can’t argue with the production.”
- Albert Breer also said that linebackers Zaven Collins and Jamin Davis have a chance to be first-round picks after their strong Pro Day performances.
- Ian Rapoport reports that Notre Dame OT Liam Eichenberg, DE Ade Ogundeji, and OL Aaron Banks did not travel to Indianapolis for official medical evaluations after testing positive for COVID-19 following their pro days.
- Gil Brandt mentions three players who could be surprise selections in the first round of the draft, including EDGE Joe Tryon, C Creed Humphrey, and WR Elijah Moore.
- Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that at least one NFL owner of a team picking in the top 10 is hesitant to draft a player who opted out of last season.
- Veteran free-agent DT Damon Harrison said he is waiting on the “right opportunity” and had some conversations with interested teams but isn’t rushing to sign a contract: “‘I’m a free agent waiting on the right opportunity. We have some interest on teams and are having some conversations. Nothing real has materialized yet and I’m not in a rush to make a decision.” (Aaron Wilson)
- We have him included in our Top 100 Available 2021 Free Agents list.