It would have been a tough sell replacing Fields with another Ohio State quarterback
Justin Fields had his questions heading into last offseason, but he showed he was a dynamic playmaker. It was worth it to see if he could develop as a pocket passer. Plus, it was an easier sell to the fan base to add Moore.
What would have been a tough sell to an already skeptical fandom when it comes to quarterbacks is replacing Fields with another Ohio State quarterback.
Until Stroud came around, recent Ohio State quarterbacks were known to be busts. Fields was the first Buckeye quarterback to show promise in a while. A lot of his bad habits were developed in Columbus. He was used to having all the time in the world to throw. He was coached to release the ball once he saw his receiver open.
Stroud received the same coaching, so it would have been the same risk to go with him as it was to stick with Fields. People are also letting recency bias cloud that Stroud was not a consensus No. 1 overall pick. A lot of the scouting and draft experts thought Young was the better quarterback. Anthony Richardson was viewed as having more upside, too.
This is not like in 2017 when the organization did not give Deshaun Watson a free dinner to get to know him. It is certainly not in the same context as the franchise telling Patrick Mahomes they would draft him only to go with Mitchell Trubisky.