Some people forget that just because two players come from the same school doesn’t mean they’re the same player. That should be an obvious statement, but too many people place the “bust” label on a guy simply because of where he played in college.
For example, the recent failure of Dwayne Haskins in Washington might have fans skeptical of Justin Fields just because they both played at Ohio State. Does that make sense? No, but do people try to connect those dots anyway? Absolutely.
In an effort to combat such unnecessary comparisons, Trevor Matich with NBC Sports Washington broke down the key ways in which the two former Buckeyes are different. Matich says that the arm strength and leadership are comparable, but that one key difference is important.
“The biggest difference, though, is Fields has much greater mobility,” Matich said, via NBC Sports. “Dwayne Haskins can move around a little bit, buy some time, make a few plays with his legs, that’s okay. Fields is an absolute dynamo.”
Having a quarterback capable of making plays with his legs has become an important factor in potential success. It’s not a “must have” type quality, but it can be an element that affects the outcome of a game.
Mobility is not just running out with the football, though. It’s about having the ability to escape pressure so as to create time in the passing game.
“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,” Matich continued. “Some of the things that he does as a runner will make your eyeballs spin around. It’s crazy.”
Of course, maturity will need to be another difference if Fields wants to have success in the league. But so far, Fields has done nothing to suggest that he lacks the maturity necessary for a professional football career.
As far as the fit with Washington, it’s probably not going to matter. After an unexpected run, a 7-9 finish and appearance in the playoffs, the Football Team doesn’t pick until No. 19. Unless we see a Haskins-type of drop, he should be gone by then.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.