Should the Carolina Panthers trade up for Justin Fields?
By Dean Jones
Is Justin Fields worth trading up for?
It’s a little harsh on Justin Fields to tie him in with the narrative of Ohio State quarterbacks failing at the next level. The list of former Buckeyes who’ve flattered to deceive is there for all to see. But one could argue that the incoming recruit possesses a bigger skill set than any who have come before him.
Fields is an accurate passer who has exceptional velocity to his throws which should transition well to the NFL. He recognizes pressure well and is able to maneuver himself in the pocket to keep plays alive in an eye-catching fashion.
The Carolina Panthers need to be sure Fields can thrive once he gets to the NFL. His performance in the National Championship game against a formidable Alabama defense was lackluster, to put it mildly. And the emergence of BYU’s Zach Taylor might mean he slides on draft night given other teams’ needs.
If the Panthers want to guarantee they acquire Fields, then PFF’s projection at No. 3 might be too low. Much will depend on what the New York Jets do with the second pick, which will set off a chain of events that Carolina needs to be ready for.
Fields and Trevor Lawrence have been linked as No. 1 and No. 2 from their high school days. There is little doubting the player’s credentials and putting him on the Panthers would give him a small window to adjust providing Teddy Bridgewater is still on the roster by this point.
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Hopefully, better options will be acquired for the offensive line and Christian McCaffrey can have a bigger say back to full health. There are far worse situations for Fields to be walking into if he does end up in Carolina and as far as decisions go, this is a franchise-altering one upcoming for the organization as they look to enter the postseason discussion at the earliest possible opportunity.