Ohio State is a college football institution. They've had storied players like Archie Griffin, Eddie George and Orlando Pace. The current NFL is filled with former Buckeyes, from No. 2 pick Chase Young to Michael Thomas, Ezekiel Elliott and the Bosa brothers.
Quarterback Justin Fields is the next OSU product expected to go early in the first round of April's draft. Debate has ensued over how Fields will fare at the next level. Recent Buckeye QBs who have flamed out in the NFL include Dwayne Haskins, Cardale Jones and Terrell Pryor.
Fields could be the one to break the curse.
Fields' Pro Day should have proved his worthiness of being a top pick. He made similar throws to presumed No. 2 selection Zach Wilson, who drew rave reviews at his recent showcase. Fields seems to lead the pack of second-tier QB prospects, with Trey Lance possibly challenging for that spot after Mac Jones failed to impress at his Pro Day.
Fields threw for 5,373 yards and 63 TDs across 22 games at Ohio State. He has been praised as the most accurate passer in this draft, and he's demonstrated his arm strength with some highlight-reel bombs.
Another appeal of Fields is his running ability. He scampered for 867 yards and 15 TDs with the Buckeyes, presenting a serious threat to make plays happen when things don't develop for his receivers. The pass-happy modern NFL prioritizes a QB who can keep plays alive.
One knock on Fields has been his ability to make timely reads. It's crucial for QBs not to stare down their receivers and telegraph passes at the next level where there's interceptions waiting to happen. Fields did that periodically at Oho State.
That makes Fields' landing spot crucial. Will Carolina or Denver know how to properly develop him? It's hard to say. No talented QB can make things happen solely on their own. Just ask Sam Darnold.
Fields could also head to quarterback guru Kyle Shanhan at No. 3 and immediately be put in position to succeed with a talented roster. And heading to the Atlanta Falcons at No. 4 to soak up knowledge from Matt Ryan for a few seasons wouldn't be a bad situation either.
Fields certainly has the talent to squash the OSU quarterback narrative, but his next team will play a huge role in determining the outcome.