Imagine getting a message from the G.O.A.T. before one of the most important days of your early career. That's how Justin Fields' Wednesday morning went.
"Justin Fields, hey man, don't worry about what they're saying about you, brother," Jerry Rice said Wednesday morning on his Instagram. "We know that you're a hard worker and you enjoy what you're doing on the football field. You inspire your teammates to be better.
"Hey, they said the same thing about me. They said I couldn't run a 40. Yeah, I might have ran a 4.5, 4.6 -- I'm not even sure. But for one thing, they didn't clock me on my way to the end zone. Could nobody catch me.
"So hey, just let that stuff blow over your head, man. Congratulations, I'm sure you're looking forward to the draft. And hopefully, you go high."
Pretty good message to see from the 49ers legend.
Fields has wrongly gone through the kind of pre-draft critique that far too many Black quarterbacks have dealt with in the past. Despite him being a great student in the classroom and on the field, he has been criticized for his processing ability and accuracy. The numbers prove those claims to be wrong, and former NFL quarterback Mark Sanchez recently said Fields received the highest possible score on an aptitude test.
The former Ohio State star quarterback will hold his second pro day Wednesday, and this time, he'll do so in front of 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. He's even expected to run 49ers concepts at the event.
Fields put on a show at his first pro day with his arm and legs while Shanahan and Lynch were watching Alabama's Mac Jones. But the coach and GM knew they would get a look at Fields before the 2021 NFL Draft.
The 49ers now hold the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft after making a blockbuster trade with the Miami Dolphins to move up from No. 12. While many believe Jones will be their pick, Fields, along with North Dakota State's Trey Lance, certainly still are in play.
Wednesday of course will be a big day for Fields and the 49ers, and it doesn't hurt getting an uplifting message from Jerry Rice himself.