COLUMBUS, Ohio – Justin Fields, who led Ohio State to a 20-2 record and to back-to-back College Football Playoff appearances for the first time, was selected in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. He was the 11th overall pick.
The draft is being held in Cleveland, Ohio. Fans are in attendance – one published report had as many as 50,000 expected around the various draft venues, including the Browns’ First Energy Stadium and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – with Covid-19 safety protocols in place and everyone within the “Draft Experience” area fully vaccinated.
Fields’ selection gives Ohio State a first-round NFL Draft pick for six consecutive seasons – the second-longest active streak among all schools with Alabama at 13 – and increases Ohio State’s No. 1 hold on all-time first-round draft picks to 85.
Fields, who watched the draft from his home in Kennesaw, Ga., transferred to Ohio State from the University of Georgia in January of 2019 and led Ohio State to consecutive College Football Playoff appearances – the fourth and fifth in school history – while statistically putting up spectacular numbers that position him as one of the best quarterbacks in school history.
Fields threw for 5,373 yards with 63 touchdowns compared to only nine interceptions in his two seasons while completing 68.4 pct. of his passes. His 70.2 completion percentage in 2020 is a school record and he has the school record in passing efficiency (179.1) as well as the top two single season efficiency marks: 181.4 in 2019 and 175.6 in 2020.
In fact, Fields’ 179.1 career passing efficiency rating is second in NCAA history (Kyler Murray of Texas A&M and Oklahoma; 181.3) for the 325-399 completions threshold.
Fields was a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2019 and he was named the Big Ten’s offensive player and quarterback of the year in both 2019 and 2020. He was the 2020 Chicago Tribune Silver Football award winner as the Big Ten’s best player.