football-player football-score football-helmet football-ball Accuracy Arm-Strength Balance Ball-Security Ball-Skills Big-Play-Ability Block-Deconstruction Competitive-Toughness Core-Functional-Strength Decision-Making Discipline Durability Effort-Motor Elusivness Explosiveness Football-IQ Footwork Functional-Athleticism Hand-Counters Hand-Power Hand-Technique Hands Lateral-Mobility Leadership Length Mechanics Mobility Pass-Coverage-Ability Pass-Protection Pass-Sets Passing-Down-Skills Pocket-Manipulation Poise Power-at-POA Progressions RAC-Ability Range Release-Package Release Route-Running Run-Defending Separation Special-Teams-Ability-1 Versatility Vision Zone-Coverage-Skills Anchor-Ability Contact-Balance Man-Coverage-Skills Tackling Lifted Logic Web Design in Kansas City clock location phone email play chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up facebook tiktok checkbox checkbox-checked radio radio-selected instagram google plus pinterest twitter youtube send linkedin search arrow-circle bell left-arrow right-arrow tdn-mark filled-play-circle yellow-arrow-circle dark-arrow-circle star cloudy snowy rainy sunny plus minus triangle-down link close drag minus-circle plus-circle pencil premium trash lock simple-trash simple-pencil eye cart
NFL Draft

Justin Fields: Contextualized Quarterbacking 2021

  • The Draft Network
  • April 7, 2021
  • Share

For anyone new to the family here at The Draft Network, Contextualized Quarterbacking is an annual project I put together for TDN Premium subscribers. In Contextualized Quarterbacking, I chart the significant draft-eligible quarterbacks across their final seasons, tagging each dropback with a ton of situational features that allow us to understand their game at more specific and situational levels.

Each throw is graded both for Accuracy and for Ball Placement. Accuracy is a general metric for catchable passes—an accurate pass is a catchable pass—while Placement scores take more details into account: maximizing YAC opportunities, protecting the wide receiver from unnecessary hits, and protecting the ball from being played on by the defensive back. Throws are also charted relative to depth and passing direction, to understand how target distribution affects accuracy scores for each quarterback. It’s harder to throw deep!

Contextualized Quarterbacking helps us understand what each college offense asked of their quarterback, which gives us an additional tool for projecting these passers to the pros. When we understand their college offense, we can better identify those skills that will translate to the pro level, and accordingly, project the ideal scheme fits for each player.

Justin Fields’ profile in Contextualized Quarterbacking, from the simple accuracy down to the detailed contextual data, reveals the same thing that any honest evaluation of Fields’ film or numbers does: the young man can play. Fields is an imperfect prospect who needs to invite fewer pressures and script better responses to pressure, but his elite accuracy and placement scores remain strong when throwing under pressure, from different platforms, and yes, even beyond his first read—something he did on 42 of his 220 chartable attempts, in case anyone was wondering.


Left Middle Right
20+ 5.45% 4.5% 5.45%
10-19 7.3% 9.1% 11.4%
0-9 10.0% 12.2% 18.2%
<0 6.4% 2.7% 7.3%


Left Middle Right
20+ 13.6% 14.1% 5.4%
10-19 6.7% 9.0% 12.7%
0-9 6.9% 7.9% 13.4%
<0 3.8% 2.3% 4.2%

An interesting sensation on Fields’ film and charts is his dominant side. Most right-handed quarterbacks in college spend more time throwing to their right, as their vision and throwing motion is more easily set to the right than to the left. With that experience, most college quarterbacks are also more accurate throwing to their right than their left. Fields isn’t.

Fields’ methodical and often slow process in the pocket can be to his detriment, but he does a tremendous job setting his throwing hallway and working through his reads even when asked to throw to his left. No quarterback in the class is better prepared for a full menu of NFL throws—full-field reads included—than Fields.


Left Middle Right
20+ 1.000 .900 .750
10-19 .938 .950 .880
0-9 .955 .926 .950
<0 .929 .833 .938


Left Middle Right
20+ .750 .700 .542
10-19 .906 .800 .680
0-9 .750 .685 .688
<0 .750 .583 .844

In terms of raw accuracy, Justin Fields is one of the most accurate quarterbacks I’ve ever charted, going back to 2018—the first year of Contextualized Quarterbacking—when Baker Mayfield dominated the accuracy scores. Unlike Mayfield, however, Fields does not have arm strength concerns and dominated as a deep-ball passer. 

The other side of that coin? Fields does not have the target distribution and accuracy in the shallow area that most quarterbacks do coming out of college, and will not fit well in a quick-game heavy offense. His process isn’t quick enough, and his short game isn’t precise enough. But for that deep accuracy? You’re willing to make the sacrifice.

Please click here for access to the full data sheet including QB alignment, X-step drops, MOFO/MOFC coverage, first read, beyond first read, pressured vs. unpressured, and much more.

Filed In

Related Articles

Written By

The Draft Network