Could Washington make a play for Ohio State QB Justin Fields in 2021 NFL Draft?

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Ethan Cadeaux
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Could Washington make a play for Ohio State QB Justin Fields? originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

With Matthew Stafford headed to Los Angeles and a Deshaun Watson trade anything but certain, there's a chance the Washington Football Team enters the 2021 NFL Draft without its long-term solution at quarterback on the roster.

So, if that ends up being the case, using a first-round pick on a signal-caller will certainly be on the table. And, according to Kevin Sheehan of the Team 980, there's one prospect in particular Washington's revamped front office really likes.

"I've heard Washington, their brain trust, they like Justin Fields, the quarterback from Ohio State," Sheehan said on his radio show Tuesday morning.

It makes sense why Washington would be interested in Fields, too. The 21-year-old has great size (6-foot-3, 227 lbs.), a rocket arm, excellent accuracy and elite athleticism.

That last part is especially important, as head coach Ron Rivera has stressed multiple times the need for mobility at the quarterback position. Fields, an outstanding runner, totaled 15 touchdowns with his legs in 22 games with the Buckeyes.

"He does fit in terms of what you think they'd be looking at. They want a mobile quarterback," Sheehan said. 

The idea of taking an Ohio State quarterback in the first round of the draft doesn't sound enticing to many Washington fans, especially considering the Dwayne Haskins debacle over the past two seasons.

To those fans, remember this: scout the player, not the helmet. 

Fields and Haskins have different skillsets and are completely different prospects. Fields also has more experience than Haskins did coming out. He started two full seasons at Ohio State compared to just one for Haskins. 

When Haskins was going through the draft process, there were several questions about his maturity, many of which proved to be true in Washington. Fields, on the other hand, is considered to be a great leader by many with little character concerns.

"Justin Fields is a high-character guy by all reports," Sheehan said. "He's a leader, he's played more than just one season."

If Washington does ultimately want to select Fields come draft day, the Burgundy and Gold will almost certainly have to trade up to get him.

In NBC Sports Washington's latest mock draft, Fields goes second overall to the New York Jets. Other mocks have Fields slipping a bit, but almost all have the Ohio State star coming off the board by pick No. 7, where the Lions are slated to select.

Sheehan brought up a recent mock draft moderated by NFL Draft expert Matt Miller, where Washington traded up to No. 7 with the Lions to take Fields. In that proposal, Washington would send two first-round picks (including this year's 19th overall selection) and a third-rounder to Detroit to move up, a very similar package to what Kansas City gave up to take Patrick Mahomes in 2017.

While that might seem like a lot to give up, Sheehan says he trusts Rivera and his staff to make the right move.

"I like Justin Fields, I don't love Justin Fields," Sheehan said. "But, I would trust them on the Justin Fields evaluation. As far as the compensation, if they believe in this guy, then I would be all for it."