2015 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Devonte Fields

Career Recap: Fields took the Big XII by storm in 2012 as a First-Team All-Conference pick and the Big XII Freshman of the Year. He also was voted as the best defensive player in the conference by the media. Fields broke out with 10 sacks, 53 tackles, 18.5 tackles for a loss, four passes batted, two forced fumbles and an interception. He was a pure speed rusher off the edge who showed good instincts and natural pass-rush ability. Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson told WalterFootball.com in the run up to the 2013 NFL Draft that Fields and Arizona Cardinals edge-rusher Alex Okafor were the two best players he played in college.

2013 was a lost season for Fields. He started the year with a suspension and didn’t get the chance to play against LSU. After playing in only two games, his season came to an end with a foot injury that required surgery. Fields recorded four tackles with two tackles for a loss in 2013.

In January of 2014, Fields was jumped by three men and pistol whipped. The men stole items from his house, and shots were fired in Fields’ backyard as he fought with the robbers. Fields didn’t want officers to search his home, declined medical attention and decided not to press charges.

2014 Season Outlook: After three games to shake the rust off, Fields will face the best offensive tackles he’ll see during the regular season in back-to-back games in Weeks 4 and 5. At the start of October, Fields will see Oklahoma and its excellent tackle duo of Daryl Williams and Tyrus Thompson. Both are long, big and strong offensive tackles who will test Fields’ run defense and ability to shed blocks.

A week later, Fields will battle Baylor left tackle Spencer Drango. The Bears have a point-machine for an offense, so TCU will need Fields to put steady heat on quarterback Bryce Petty to slow down the Baylor offense.

Late in October, Fields will have another nice test by Texas Tech tackle Le’Raven Clark. There are also other talented teams on TCU’s schedule, so if Fields has another good year he will have produced against some quality competition throughout the season.

Skill-Set Summary: Fields is a dangerous speed rusher off the edge. He has a good get-off to fire into the backfield off the snap. In pursuit, Fields closes quickly on the quarterback or ball-carrier with a burst in short areas. Fields can burn offensive tackles with speed around the corner or dart back to the inside. He has a good spin move that he doesn’t use enough and has the potential for a decent array of pass-rushing moves.

On top of his good speed, Fields plays with nice leverage and is a natural bender. He gets low beneath offensive tackles to get an angle on the quarterback.

Fields needs to get stronger for run defense. He can get in trouble when offense linemen get their hands on him going downhill. The strength issue would help Fields in pass rushing as well. He needs to improve his upper-body power to shed blocks and get linemen’s hands off of him.

Fields also is going to face some off-the-field questions from teams regarding his suspension and any potential feuding that led to him being robbed.

For the NFL, Fields looks like he would fit best as a 3-4 outside linebacker. In 2012, TCU ran a lot of variety in its scheme and lined Fields up in a lot of different spots. He played defensive end and outside linebacker. Fields also dropped into pass coverage. On most plays though, he stood up over the offensive tackle.

2015 NFL Draft Expectations: If Fields can return to his 2012 form, he could be a first-round pick. It would help his draft stock if he maintained his speed while getting larger. Fields also needs to stay out of trouble. Defenses that run a 3-4 scheme could have heavy interest in him.


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