2021 NFL draft: If he goes pro, the NFL awaits Ohio State's Justin Fields

Dan Kadar
Buckeye Xtra

If Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields just played his last game at Ohio State, the NFL is waiting for him. 

Fields, a junior, is one of the most highly touted prospects in the 2021 NFL draft, and a popular choice in early mock drafts.

More:Ohio State's Trey Sermon leaves CFP National Championship game, headed to hospital with apparent collarbone injury

More:Alabama's DeVonta Smith will not return to National Championship game after hand injury

Fields' draft stock really got hot after Ohio State's Sugar Bowl win cover Clemson. In that game, Fields threw six touchdown passes to one interception and for 385 yards. But his play in the College Football Playoff National Championship game loss to Alabama was at times middling. 

Against Alabama, he completed just 17 of 33 passes for 194 yards and a touchdown. Fields also had six carries for 67 yards, which led the Buckeyes. Even though he didn't break 200 yards passing, Fields still made some throws that will have NFL scouts salivating.

Watch: Master Teague replaces Trey Sermon for Ohio State, scores touchdown

The NFL's underclassmen deadline nears for Justin Fields

Players have until Jan. 18 to declare for the draft. Last year, 115 underclassmen entered the draft and five of them were quarterbacks. Two of them — Tua Tagovailoa and Jordan Love — went on to be first-round picks. 

Fields already faces tough draft competition. Odds are Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence will be the No. 1 overall pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars. But after him, Fields is contending with BYU's Zach Wilson and North Dakota State's Trey Lance to be the second quarterback drafted.

That could happen as high as the No. 2 pick by the New York Jets.

Where Justin Fields could get taken in the NFL draft

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields passes against Alabama during the first half of an NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

In his most recent mock draft, ESPN's Todd McShay has Fields going 15th overall to the New England Patriots.

"What a terrific outcome this would be for coach Bill Belichick," McShay wrote. "Fields fell to No. 15 here because we aren't doing trades in this mock. There's 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."

Other mocks are more optimistic about Fields' draft placement. Joe Marino of The Draft Network has Fields going second overall, as does Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports. Anthony Treash of Pro Football Focus has Fields being taken third by the Miami Dolphins. 

Get more Ohio State football news by listening to our podcasts

How tall is Justin Fields?

One thing NFL teams will closely watch should Fields go pro is his official measurement. Fields, like most draft prospects, will be officially measured at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis at the end of February.

Fields is listed by Ohio State as being 6'3 and 228 pounds. Joe Burrow, the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL draft, measured at 6'4 and 218 pounds. Kyler Murray, the top pick in 2019, measured 5'10 and 207 pounds.