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Let’s Not be Too Quick to Judge Redskins Quarterback Dwayne Haskins’ Rookie Season

NFL: Washington Redskins at Green Bay Packers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

There is no arguing that rookie Dwayne Haskins hasn’t lit the world on fire over the first six starts of his career. “Many” knew when he was drafted that he would need some time learning the ways of the NFL before he’d be ready to take over the reigns. But, most also saw the talent the youngster possessed. His game Sunday against the Eagles, the best of his young season to date, may have just shown us a glimpse of what’s to come.

During his only full season as a starter at Ohio St, he posted eye-popping numbers. In 14 games started in 2018, Haskins threw for an Ohio St. record 4831 passing yards with 50 touchdowns and eight interceptions, while completing 70% of his passes. He added 108 rushing yards and four touchdowns in his one season as a starter.

Let’s compare these numbers to the 2019 Heisman winner Joe Burrow, whom Haskins beat out for the starting job while both were at Ohio St.

In 13 games this season at LSU, Burrow has thrown for 4715 yards with 48 touchdowns and six interceptions, while completing 78 percent of his passes. He’s added 289 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

Pretty comparable collegiate numbers in very similar offenses...right?

Well, consider this. Burrow had his “highlight” season as a fifth year senior, while Haskins had his as a first-year starting sophomore. If you want to look at Joe Burrow’s stats as a first-year collegiate starter, they were...2894 passing yards, 16 touchdowns and five interceptions with a 56 percent completion percentage over 13 games. He chipped in seven touchdowns on the ground that year with LSU going 10-3.

This comparison was done for two reasons: 1)to compare two different players, who competed against one another while at the same school in the past, at different points of the collegiate maturation process; and 2)because I’ve heard MANY people say the Redskins should consider drafting another quarterback in 2020 to build around because they are frustrated with Haskins already.

Well, some can’t seem to see the forest for the trees... so I figured another comparison, this time focusing on the NFL, would help.

Haskins may have gotten off to a rocky NFL start, but should anyone really be surprised?

He’s blessed with an offensive line that can’t protect him from the tackle spot for crap, is missing both his top two tight ends, has had his pass catchers drop 14 passes, has three rookie starting wide receivers, and played against Green Bay with a crushed ankle for most of the game in his last start. Oh, and I forgot to mention, an interim head coach stuck in the 80’s whos play calling is about as predictable as Daylight Savings Time!

But yeah...Let’s judge him “fairly” now.

Anyone remember the former number one overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft...Jared Goff?...yeah, the same guy the Rams traded up to number one overall to get in that year. And oh, by the way, he was a three year starter at Cal before declaring his junior year.

Goff’s rookie season(2016):

- Lame-duck head coach

- Was a backup to Case Keenum for the team’s first 9 games. Sound familiar?

- Got his first start November 15th(Haskins first start was November 3rd)

- 7 starts, 0-7 record, 55% completion percentage, 1089 yards, 5 TD, 7 INT, 26 sacks

Goff’s 2017 season:

- Jeff Fisher fired

- Sean McVay comes in as new head coach

- 15 starts, 11-4 record, 62% completion percentage, 3804 yards, 28 TD, 7 INT, 28 sacks *Pro Bowl

Haskins rookie season(2019):

- Jay Gruden fired after 0-5 start

- Bill Callahan named interim head coach

- Was a backup to Case Keenum(and McCoy) for team’s first eight games

- 6 starts, 2-4 record, 57% completion percentage, 1232 yards, 5 TD, 7 INT, 26 sacks

I bring up Goff not because the two quarterbacks compare favorably from an intangible standpoint, or because they had similar collegiate experiences...because they don’t or didn’t. I bring him up because the dysfunction surrounding their respective teams was very similar during their rookie seasons(although the Redskins were much worse structurally). Goff persevered and went on to have a great second year under his new head coach.

People often look at the immediate in this what-have-you-done-for-me-lately league, and fail to see the big picture. The haters will always point out things that are favorable to their argument against Haskins, while the homers will love him no matter what.

The realists will try their best to see the WHOLE picture, and will be willing to give the rookie the time he needs and deserves to mature, prepare, and learn the NFL game with some sense of stability around him, before making a fair judgement.

What if people had written off Jared Goff after just seven starts during the mess that was his rookie year? know, just like we all did with Ereck Flower.