The only real question surrounding Justin Fields is where, exactly, he ranks on the draft boards of teams on the lookout for quarterbacks within the top 10 of next week’s NFL Draft.
Fields’ athletic skills and high-level intelligence are attributes that undoubtedly place him among the top players in the draft.
However, it is unknown whether a condition revealed Wednesday in an NFL Network report will have any impact on his draft status. Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network cited sources who say teams became aware recently that Fields manages epilepsy.
The neurological disorder, which can cause seizures, has not had any effect on Fields' football career, according to the report, and doctors believe he will “grow out” of the condition, “as his other family members have.”
Fields did not miss any game action during his two seasons as a starter at Ohio State, where he started 22 games and threw for 5,373 yards with 63 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also rushed for 15 touchdowns over that period.
The report quoted a source as saying Fields’ symptoms have gotten shorter and less frequent, and he does not experience seizures “as long as he takes his medicine.”
The 49ers are considering Fields, along with quarterbacks Mac Jones of Alabama and Trey Lance of North Dakota State, with the No. 3 overall pick in the draft.
Trevor Lawrence of Clemson and Zach Wilson of BYU are expected to be the selections of the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets with the first and second picks, respectively.
According to the NFL Network report, former Pittsburgh guard Alan Faneca, newly elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and former Baltimore safety Samari Rolle both played in the NFL with epilepsy.