Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields is widely considered a top-three quarterback prospect and a top-10 player in the 2021 NFL draft, but NFL.com senior analyst (and ex-Dallas Cowboys vice president of player personnel) Gil Brandt wrote that Fields' placement on NFL teams' boards is "all over the place" and as low as Round 4.
"Justin Fields is all over the place in terms of where teams have placed him on their boards," Brandt tweeted. "Highest I've heard is top 5, lowest: Round 4. My guess is 49ers aren't moving up for him, but instead Trey Lance."
Brandt made the remarks after the San Francisco 49ers traded a pair of future first-round draft picks to move from No. 12 to No. 3 in the 2021 NFL draft, presumably to take a quarterback.
The reported Round 4 opinion is not in line with the consensus on Fields.
The NFL Mock Draft Database, which aggregates a litany of scout and analyst opinions, has Fields No. 4 on the big board and pegs him third to the 49ers in its mock draft.
The B/R NFL Scouting Dept. ranks him second overall behind only Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, and he was given a 9.2 grade, slotting him into the "Potential All-Pro" portion of the grading scale.
Fields' collegiate career at Georgia and Ohio State saw him finish with 86 total touchdowns and just nine interceptions. He led OSU to the College Football Playoff in each of his two seasons as a starter and outplayed Lawrence in last year's semifinal matchup, throwing for six scores in a 49-28 win.
He may not be considered the top prospect in this year's class, but he shouldn't be waiting long to hear his name called when the NFL draft begins on Thursday, April 29.