Former Ohio State QB Justin Fields tells NFL teams he's managing epilepsy, per report

Joey Kaufman
Buckeye Xtra
Justin Fields, here throwing as part of a pro day at Ohio State on March 30, is expected to go as high as No. 3 overall in the NFL Draft.

Former Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields has told teams ahead of next week’s draft that he is managing epilepsy, a neurological disorder that can result in seizures, according to a report from the NFL Network published on Wednesday.

Doctors have given him an encouraging prognosis and expect he will outgrow the medical condition in his 20s, the report added.

Fields, who turned 22 in March, has not experienced prior issues. The diagnosis had been previously unreported.

It’s unclear what impact the revelation will have on the draft stock of the Buckeyes passer when the first round begins on April 29 in Cleveland.

Fields is seen as a potential third overall pick of the San Francisco 49ers, who traded up to the spot.

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is the presumptive first overall pick, while Brigham Young’s Zach Wilson is expected to next come off the draft board, leaving Fields as one of the much-discussed names to be connected with San Francisco. 

Some mock drafts, though, have pegged Fields to fall lower in the top-10, or outside altogether. 

Fields has been knocked at several points throughout the pre-draft cycle for reasons that ranged from his processing of receiving targets to his work ethic.

After his effort drew anonymous criticism, relayed by Dan Orlovsky on Pat McAfee's popular SiriusXM Radio show earlier this month, it drew strong pushback from Ohio State coach Ryan Day, who called Fields “one of the hardest-working guys” and “one of the most competitively tough guys” that he had worked with during his career.

“There's been a lot of talk out there,” Day added, “and maybe they think they know him better than I do, but I know this: whoever drafts Justin Fields is going to get a great player and a great person.”

In two seasons at Ohio State, Fields threw for 5,373 yards and 63 touchdowns and ran for 867 yards and 15 touchdowns.

jkaufman@dispatch.com

@joeyrkaufman