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Why I’m excited about Dwayne Haskins

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He looks like the guy that Jay Gruden and the Redskins have been looking for

Ohio State v TCU Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Redskins will host their three weeks of OTAs on the following days:

  • May 20-21, 23
  • May 28-30
  • June 10-12

The Redskins also held their annual rookie minicamp for players selected in the 2019 NFL Draft, college free agent signings and other invites from May 10-12 at the team’s headquarters. Finally, mandatory minicamp will take place from June 4-6.


The Redkskins will begin their OTAs today, but they held rookie minicamp earlier this month, allowing Jay Gruden and the rest of the Redskins coaches to see the drafted rookies up close and personal in Redskins helmets for the first time.

There was keen interest in every draft pick present, and a lot of attention paid to undrafted free agents and tryout players as well. Following the minicamp, in fact, the Redskins announced the signing of five new players they saw during the minicamp.

But, no player drew more attention than the Redskins top draft pick, Dwayne Haskins.

NFL: Washington Redskins-Rookie Minicamp Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

I’m not sure how much you know about Dwayne Haskins from his days as the quarterback of the Ohio State Buckeyes, but Hogs Haven had him near the top of the list of draft prospects to profile, and took a detailed look at him in January.


  • Dwayne Haskins, QB
  • School: Ohio St | Conference: Big Ten
  • College Experience: Redshirt Sophomore | Age: 21
  • Height / Weight: 6-3 / 220 lbs
  • Projected Draft Status: 1st round
  • NFL Comparison: Alex Smith

College Statistics

Data courtesy CFB at Sports-Reference.com.

Player Summary

Dwayne Haskins finished his 2018 season with the Buckeyes as Big Ten Champions and a Heisman Trophy Finalist. He set OSU and Big Ten records for most passing yards in a season (4,580) and passing TDs in a season (47)....

Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual - Washington v Ohio State Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Haskins has natural abilities as a thrower. He works well in the pocket and when given time is accurate to all three levels down the field. The key words there are “given time”; Haskins is 2nd best in the nation with a passer rating of 134.4 when given a clean pocket. Because of his size, accuracy, and Urban Meyer tutelage, I’d compare him to Alex Smith — just with a bigger arm.

Grades:

Size: 9/10

Has prototypical size for an NFL QB. Is tall enough to see the field and thick enough to take a hit.

Accuracy: 9/10

Haskins was 5th in the nation this season with a 70.2% completion percentage. He can make all the throws when his mechanics are together. He was the 2nd most efficient passer in the nation with a clean pocket. However his mechanics can be sloppy at times, which I believe can be cleaned up.

Arm Strength: 13/15

You’ll hear a lot of people talk about Haskins as a natural arm talent. He can make all the throws, throw from different platforms, and can make up for lower body mechanical issues with his arm.

Mobility: 8.5/10

Haskins is different from some of the QBs Ohio State has had in the past. He is not a mobile quarterback, but a quarterback with mobility. Ability to feel pressure and slide in the pocket grew as the season went along. He can take off and run when he needs to, and isn’t shy of contact, but it’s not what he’s looking to do.

Processing Speed: 12/15

Haskins has shown to be very good at half field reads. He got better throughout the season in recognizing and looking off coverage. However, he was not asked to read a full field very often in Ohio State’s offense. This inexperience in reps and scheme could make for a steep learning curve at the next level.

Mechanics: 7/10

It is surprising to me how accurate Haskins is with how bad his mechanics are sometimes (which just goes to show what a natural arm talent he is). The good news is he shows the ability to put it all together at times, making it more likely a by product of inexperience. He has a tendency to not set his feet properly causing inaccuracies and problems with velocity especially on down field throws. His mechanics suffer against pressure as well, which is to be somewhat expected from such a young QB.

Leadership: 10/15

He has always been a lead by example guy, but is starting to come into his own as a vocal leader, which will be important if he is thrown into a starting role as a rookie.

Clutch: 11/15

Haskins excelled on the biggest stage he played in, putting up 396 yards and 6 touchdowns on then #4 Michigan. However he can be rattled by the rush. Ohio State’s schemes bailed him out of a few situations, so it is yet to be seen how he’ll handle that going forward.

Overall: 79.5/100

How He’d Fit on the Redskins

The Redskins are in obvious need of a QB. With Alex Smith’s uncertain playing future, the Redskins need to be thinking about a new QB going forward, [and] I think Haskins is a great fit. I think it would be a huge mistake to reach for him, but if he does fall to the Redskins, they shouldn’t hesitate to take him.


Of course, Haskins did fall to the Redskins, and they didn’t hesitate to take him.

Now, though, fans might wonder about the coach’s plans at quarterback. After all, the team traded for Case Keenum earlier in the offseason, and he was seen recently as the starting quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game.

Will Haskins be tapped as the starting quarterback from Week 1, or will Jay lead with experience, putting Keenum, or even Colt McCoy, behind center when the Redskins open up the season at Lincoln Financial Field in Philly?

I doubt whether anyone is really sure just yet, but Jay has said that there will be a competition among the rookie and two veterans.

Haskins got a head start on Keenum at minicamp, and Jay spoke to the press afterwards, sharing his thoughts on the Redskins’ young signal caller.

Based on what he had to say, he was very impressed.

Here are eight quotes from Jay Gruden talking about how impressed he was by Dwayne Haskins during the minicamp:

One

Yesterday, he had a great day.... I’m very impressed with his skillset for sure. He can really spin it.

Two

Obviously, going through his progressions, his footwork, not only in the passing game but in the running game...it’s a long process, but he’s a bright guy. He’s wanting to work at it and he will work at it. I was impressed.

Three

I just think it’s kind of neat to have a quarterback here that you draft that high. You come in here, you give him set plays, go out there and work with him, and watch him spin it. It’s been a treat. I think he’s made some throws that turn your head without a doubt.

Four

It’s been a treat...to watch [Haskins] throw the ball to the receivers that we have in here — and he had a pretty good group of receivers. Some of those free agents that we signed — T.J. [Rahming] and Steven Sims — they were good, and obviously Terry [McLaurin] and Kelvin [Harmon] were excellent. It was good to watch those guys run around.

Five

When he has a clean pocket and his feet are there, he’s just a big, solid, fundamentally sound guy, man. He’s just a big presence, and the ball just jumps off his hand. But he also has the ability to speed it up, and he has great touch as well for some of the short balls. We shortened it down in the one-on-ones today and worked on some red-zone stuff. We just wanted to see his touch down there, and I was impressed with that for the first time working with the wide outs in that period.

Six

He’s displayed that he can make, in a short period of time, all the throws – the deep ball throws, the 20-yard dagger type throw where you have to line it, and then the touch throws, the anticipation type throws. He’s kind of displayed a little bit of everything these last two days.

Seven

You’re going to have to study film whether you’re a rookie or a 20-year guy.... That’s what makes them great. I think we’re going to help him along with that, teach him how to study film, what to look at in that regard, but he’s a guy that wants to work at it....

Eight

All the guys that we picked really have a great leadership, [including], obviously, Dwayne. When you find good players that are also good people and good leaders, it’s a win-win for everybody.

It’s hard, in a ten-minute press conference, to be much more positive than that about a playe!

Jay clearly loves what he’s seen from Dwayne Haskins so far, and, while there’s a long way to go before the regular season starts, it seems as if Redskin fans have every reason to believe in their new quarterback of the future.

Poll

If you had to pick today, before the start of OTAs and long before the preseason begins, which quarterback would you like to see starting in Week 1 versus the Eagles?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    Colt McCoy
    (40 votes)
  • 54%
    Case Keenum
    (550 votes)
  • 41%
    Dwayne Haskins
    (415 votes)
1005 votes total Vote Now