Devonte Fields 2017 NFL Draft Profile

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NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 30: Devonte Fields #92 of the Louisville Cardinals in action against the Texas A&M Aggies during the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl at Nissan Stadium on December 30, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. Louisville defeated Texas A&M 27-21. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Overview
Position: Linebacker
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 236 pounds
School: Louisville Cardinals

Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash
: 4.72 seconds
Vertical jump: 34 inches
Broad jump: 10 feet, 4 inches
Three-cone drill: 7.40 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.50 seconds

Devonte Fields 2017 NFL Draft Profile

Fields took an interesting path to the NFL, and it brings off of the field question marks that will need to be answered before he is drafted. Coming out of high school, Fields was a four-star recruit. He was rated the 12th best defensive end in the country, and was a top 25 player in the state of Texas. He started his journey at TCU, playing for Gary Patterson.

As a freshman, Fields shined. He put up ten sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss, while earning Big 12 Freshman of the year honors. Then, things took a turn downhill. Fields started in just two games before a foot injury sidelined him. During his comeback process, he was suspended late into the season. The next summer, he faced domestic abuse charges and was kicked off of the team.

Fields transferred to a Junior College for one season before transferring to Louisville. As a junior with the Cardinals, he came right back with 10.5 sacks, and 22 tackles for loss. He added to that effort with six sacks and nine tackles for loss a senior. In 2016, he was used more often off of the ball and in coverage to show his wide array of abilities, and that he could translate into the NFL. How far will the off-field issues push him down, and how can Fields fit in the NFL?

Strengths

  • Fluid body movement.
  • Does well dropping into coverage.
  • Can set the edge in the run.
  • Agility to chase down running backs and change direction quickly.
  • Can move well in stunts.

Weaknesses

  • Doesn’t have a lot of pass rushing moves.
  • Needs to add some muscle to play on the edge.
  • Slow off of the ball.
  • Doesn’t bring great bend around the edge.
  • Off of the field issues.

NFL Comparison: Kyle Van Noy

Teams with needs at position: Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills

Projection: Sixth round

Bottom Line

Fields won a lot in college with speed, burst and athleticism. However, when transferring to the NFL, he will be looked at as a situational pass rusher who is too small to consistently play on the edge. It is why Fields saw his pass rush production dip off as he tried to prove that he could be a well-rounded linebacker prospect. Still, he is not too experienced in space. A role for him would have to be created, otherwise his best use would be as a third down player.

On the question of his fit alone, Fields will be looked at as a mid-round prospect. Add in the questions of why he got suspended, and how much Fields has changed since his domestic abuse charge. These are serious factors, and any team that drafts Fields will have to meet with him and judge that for themselves. Either way, since he doesn’t shine above all others with athleticism, those who grade out similarly will be taken above him.

Fields will be a late round draft pick. He may have the talent to become a player in the NFL, but it is on his work and his actions from here.

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