This is the 'biggest difference' between Dwayne Haskins and Justin Fields

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Peter Hailey
·3 min read
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This is the 'biggest difference' between Haskins and Fields originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Washington Football Team needs a quarterback like The Bachelor needs fewer commercial breaks. But where can the franchise find that ultra-important piece?

Because the organization was a part of the race to land Matt Stafford, because Deshaun Watson is on the trade block and because other veterans like Sam Darnold, Jimmy Garoppolo and Derek Carr have all been linked to the Burgundy and Gold even though they reportedly aren't even available yet, most are focused on how Ron Rivera can acquire someone who's already a pro.

The draft also exists, however, and the idea of the club perhaps trading up for a rookie instead of sending its capital elsewhere for a vet has existed on the fringes of the QBX debate. And Tuesday's remarks from the Team 980's Kevin Sheehan about Washington's "brain trust" liking Ohio State's Justin Fields should only enliven the discussion about that option.

Now, thanks to the failures of Dwayne Haskins, Fields' predecessor in Columbus, those who follow the Football Team may recoil at the thought of nabbing another Buckeye passer, especially if doing so would require giving up resources in order to land him before he's gone. 

Allow NBC Sports Washington's Trevor Matich to assuage those concerns.

"Justin Fields shares some qualities with Dwayne Haskins, but in key ways, he's completely different," Matich said recently. 

Matich went on to note that both possess an arm that allows them to hit receivers all over the field and that the two players found a ton of success in getting their OSU teammates to follow their lead during their stints in the huddle.

Yet, in Matich’s mind, Fields' advantage in one specific area — an area that's becoming more valuable than GameStop shares — is what separates him from Haskins and, therefore, should have folks excited about his potential on Sundays.

"The biggest difference, though, is Fields has much greater mobility,” the analyst said. "Dwayne Haskins can move around a little bit, buy some time, make a few plays with his legs, that's OK. Fields is an absolute dynamo."

The praise for Fields, who racked up 15 rushing scores in his two seasons and 22 games at Ohio State, didn't stop there.

"You see over and over again the best defenders in college football come as free runners on blitzes or pass rushes, they have him in their sights, and Fields will escape and make a huge play with his legs," he continued. "Some of the things that he does as a runner will make your eyeballs spin around, it's crazy."

Mobility is a trait that is shooting up the list of must-haves for most coaches in the league, and considering how many triumphs he shared with Cam Newton in Carolina, it's surely something that Rivera appreciates. 

In the end, the price to vault into position to draft Fields may end up being too much, or Washington could make the whole conversation irrelevant by solving their dilemma well before late April. But as long as Fields is a viable solution, Haskins' shortcomings shouldn't hurt his own stock.

"Justin Fields is a different guy than Dwayne Haskins," Matich said.