Throughout the process leading up to the NFL draft, analysts and evaluators always make pro comparisons for top prospects. Some are wilder than others.
Ronnie Lott has one that might put him in a league of his own, but for good reason.
The 49ers Hall of Fame safety sees Justin Fields as the next ... Joe Montana.
"He had focused unprompted on Joe Montana," Mike Yam said on the NFL Network. "He said, 'Hey, Joe was not only the greatest of all time but what made him the greatest was his ability to be consistently comfortable in uncomfortable situations.' And the one thing he saw from Justin Fields at Ohio State was also that ability.
"His presence, in terms of big-game moments, that's really what stood out to Ronnie Lott."
Now, Lott isn't saying this out of left field. This isn't just a former 49ers great throwing out a wild comparison. Lott actually is part of the College Football Playoff Committee, so he has seen plenty of Fields and the other top QBs in this year's draft.
Fields proved his toughness on the big stage when he led Ohio State led to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game while battling a big rib injury against Clemson in the Sugar Bowl. He later said it "felt like a bowling ball was just thrown into (my) side," but that didn't stop him. Fields went 22-for-28 for 385 yards and six touchdowns.
It was an all-time performance that will be forever be remembered in college football history.
In two seasons as Ohio State's starting QB, Fields only lost two games. He left with a 20-2 record, never losing a Big Ten game.
Fields has it all. He has the size, the arm strength, the accuracy, the toughness, the pedigree and the athleticism every NFL team is looking for. But is that what Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers are looking for?
We finally will know on Thursday night.