As we’re just two days out from the start of the 2021 NFL Draft, analysts are getting their last bold predictions and takes out there before the festivities officially begin. Chris Simms predicting that Justin Fields will fall all the way to the Buccaneers with the final pick of the first round is utterly insane, but the suggestion from NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks about the Ravens moving up in the draft to pick Justin Fields and letting Lamar Jackson ‘graduate’ isn’t too far behind on the scale of never gonna happen.
Brooks’ selling point about the idea stems from a quote from Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh in which he said the Ravens are “the Army of the NFL.” Brooks thinks that if the Ravens are embracing that Army mentality, then perhaps they could take a collegiate approach to the QB position. In that scenario, Jackson would ‘graduate’ and Fields would step in all while on a cheap rookie contract.
The missing piece here is that not one single person knows how Fields, or any other prospect, will adapt to the NFL. Sure, Fields’ ceiling is high, but there have been far more busts in the NFL than there have been superstars, which is exactly what Jackson is, a superstar.
From a money standpoint, sure, maybe this college approach makes sense. Jackson is going to be looking for an expensive extension, but you pay top-tier quarterbacks.
This is the same point that Colin Cowherd made on Tuesday’s edition of ‘The Herd’ when he brought up Brooks’ suggestion about Baltimore moving on from Jackson. It’s not often the majority agrees with Cowherd, but it’s safe to say we all do here.
“Lamar Jackson is 30-4 against every quarterback not named Patrick Mahomes. He’s 24, he wins 80% of his games and has won a road playoff game,” Cowherd began. “Outside of Mahomes, Rodgers, there’s no perfect quarterback…can we stop with the perfect quarterback stuff? He is great athletically, he’s okay throwing, but does appear to be getting better.”
“Lamar is Zion. We’re so caught up in what he can’t do. The stuff he can do is other worldly.”
"Lamar is Zion. We're so caught up in what he can't do. The stuff he can do is so other worldly."
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) April 27, 2021
Maybe Fields does slip to No. 27 or even No. 31, the two first-round picks the Ravens hold as of Tuesday afternoon, and maybe they do see taking Fields as an option that they can’t refuse. But, this whole letting Jackson ‘graduate’ idea seems a bit absurd.