This mock draft says Lions should take Justin Fields in first round

2021 NFL Mock draft

The Detroit Lions are fresh off a blockbuster offseason trade that sent veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams for a bounty of picks and former first overall pick, Jared Goff.

And while Goff profiles as a potential long-term answer under center, a new 2021 mock draft from NFL.com’s Adam Rank suggests Detroit shouldn’t pass up a potentially great player at the position because of him.

Rank has the Lions pulling the trigger on Ohio State’s Justin Fields.

“I know you just traded for Jared Goff,” wrote Rank. “But he’s regressed the last couple of years … with offensive guru Sean McVay. Maybe Goff can thrive with Anthony Lynn in Detroit. You know, the coach who was in charge during Justin Herbert‘s amazing rookie season? But I think we’ve seen enough of Goff to know what we’re getting. Goff would be fine as, like, the backup in Kansas City or something. Fields could be your QB of the future. And if nothing else, start dropping hints that you want to do that and see if the Panthers would like to jump up and swap picks.”

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This would be a no-brainer decision for the Lions.

Look, Goff is fine. He really is. Teams could do a lot worse than him as their starting quarterback, even if he hasn’t lived up to the expectations that come along with being the first overall pick.

But Fields has a special quality about him. He’s equal parts runner and passer and has the kind of competitive edge that usually leads to a lot of success in the NFL.

Fields has been knocked unfairly during draft season and, to be honest, we’re not going to breathe life into some of the noise that’s surrounded him over the last few days. Instead, let’s focus on his skill set, which profiles as a player with a floor of Donovan McNabb and a ceiling of Steve Young.

Landing Fields in the first round would allow Detroit to sit him behind Goff for Year 1 and take over as the club’s unquestioned starter in 2022. The future in the Motor City would, if nothing else, be extremely exciting.

Bryan Perez

Bryan is the founder of Pro Football Draft. His work has been featured on NBC Sports and USA Today. Former CFL scout.

Follow him on Twitter: @BryanPerezNFL