NFL talking heads will often say outrageous things for attention. While there might be worse pundits than Keyshawn Johnson out there, he’s surely come up with his fair share of questionable takes. But Johnson outdid himself when he said Urban Meyer would still be employed by the Jacksonville Jaguars if he had taken Justin Fields and not Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
During an appearance on Keyshawn, JWill, and Max, Johnson said Meyer could have used Fields the way Ryan Day did at Ohio State and he wouldn’t have lost his job last year.
"“Urban Meyer might still have a job if he would’ve taken Justin Fields No. 1 overall with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He may still have a job because he could’ve just rolled and implemented some of the stuff he did at Ohio State right into the program”."
Fields suffered a severe shoulder injury against the Atlanta Falcons and is a game-time decision for Week 12 but he’s having a productive sophomore campaign, even if the Chicago Bears’ record doesn’t reflect it. His 59.6 completion rate doesn’t particularly pop off the stat sheet but he’s developed into a dual threat, tallying 834 yards on 122 carries. If he avoids missing an extended period of time, he should have no trouble reaching the 1,000-yard mark this season.
You could make the case that Fields is better than Zach Wilson and Trey Lance, quarterbacks that were drafted ahead of him last year but saying he would’ve helped Meyer keep his job is a big leap. Here’s a clip with Johnson’s head-scratching take, via Clay Harbor.
Keyshawn Johnson underestimates the impact of Urban Meyer on the Jaguars
Keyshawn Johnson last year that he wasn’t impressed with Trevor Lawrence because he hadn’t won many games. While it’s true that the former Clemson Tiger struggled as a rookie, he also showed flashes and dismissing him just a few games into his NFL career seemed odd. However, saying Meyer would be the head coach of the Jaguars if they had drafted Fields is even more outlandish.
Even if Fields had been the rookie of the year in 2021, nothing short of traveling back in time and not hiring Chris Doyle as the Jaguars’ director of sports performance would have saved Meyer’s job. Similarly, he often clashed with players and his own staff. Similarly, coping with the rigors of the NFL and losing proved to be too much for Meyer, who was overwhelmed during his short (and probably only) stint in the pros.
Also, there’s an extremely high chance that Meyer would have chosen not to fly back to Jacksonville even if they had beaten the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 4, regardless of who the quarterback was and you know how things played out.
On the bright side, the Jaguars no longer have to worry about Meyer. Doug Pederson has done a good job of removing the stench of his predecessor and has the team trending in the right direction, even if it’s not reflected in the win-loss column (yet). Moreover, the team’s brass is pleased with Trevor Lawrence’s development and it’s highly unlikely that they would change him for Justin Fields, even if Keyshawn Johnson thinks he should’ve been the No. 1 overall pick in 2021.