Tony Fields II, LB
School: West Virginia University | Conference: Big 12
College Experience: Senior | Age: ???
Height / Weight: 6’1” / 220 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 4th – 5th round
Player Comparison: Matt Milano
Growing up, Tony Fields II was coached by his father to attack the ball. The three-star recruit out of Las Vegas took this advice and his talents to the University of Arizona. He had his best season statistically as a freshman where he led Arizona in tackles with 104. He continued his solid play the next two years before becoming a graduate transfer to WVU. His last year was good enough to earn distinctions as First Team All-Big 12 and the Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year.
· Quick twitch athlete with good short area quickness
· Uses his quickness to maneuver blockers at the line of scrimmage and make plays in the backfield
· Sure tackler; did not see many missed tackles on tape
· Small for the position; lacks length and will need to put on some weight if he plans to play MLB in the NFL
· Struggles to disengage from blockers (he seemed to do a better job of this before transferring to WVU)
· Although having a good athletic profile for playing man coverage, did not play much of it on tape.
· Can take himself out of plays with his aggressiveness.
Let’s go to the video tape
Do you know why linebacker Tony Fields II leads WVU with 79 tackles - nearly 25 more than the next closest guy on the team?— WVU Football (@WVUfootball) November 19, 2020
Because he was taught at a young age to always get to the ball first.
Hear his story in this week's Life As A Mountaineer, presented by @PanhandleCR. pic.twitter.com/a95XqLryPv
How He Fits On The Team
Most would agree that linebacker is the most important position to address on defense. Tony Fields II could bring some athleticism to the position. Despite playing MLB for WVU, I think he’d project to a WILL LB or a LB/S hybrid in Nickel defense, especially if he demonstrates the ability to play man coverage. He definitely has the motor and the heart to succeed in these roles, but his size limitations may prove too much for him to overcome to be a consistent contributor on defense. At the very least, he has the profile of a productive special teams player and I think this will be how he immediately contributes to whatever team drafts him.
In Washington, I think Cole Holcomb has done enough to continue starting at WILL LB, but he has struggled at times in coverage. Many fans think the solution to the position is playing Landon Collins there, but there is no proof that either the coaching staff or Collins is considering this move. The Team also selected Khaleke Hudson in the 2020 NFL Draft. They have similar builds and I suspect Fields II will have similar measurables to him. With these options, I doubt Washington drafts Fields II. Whoever does choose him should get a special teams player that could grow into a contributor on defense.