Opinion: Dwayne Haskins comes with questions for Redskins as first-round pick
As the first round of the NFL draft approached, the Washington Redskins heard their name linked to one rumor after another as some league insiders predicted that the franchise would exhaust all resources to get a quarterback.
But the dominoes couldn’t have fallen more perfectly for Washington. They didn’t call the Arizona Cardinals about Josh Rosen. They didn’t work for a deal to move up in the draft to ensure they got the signal caller they coveted. Instead, Redskins brass opted to sit tight at their original slot of No. 15 overall and watched Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins fall into their lap.
The Redskins get a big-armed quarterback who threw for 50 touchdowns and 4,831 yards in his lone full season as a starter. They also get a player whom some of the most powerful members of the organization – most notably owner Daniel Snyder and team president Bruce Allen – badly coveted.
TRACKER: Pick-by-pick analysis of every selection in Round 1
But the move to get Haskins – who played high school ball in nearby Potomac, Maryland – wasn’t a complete slam dunk. Although some within the organization had him rated as one of the top three quarterbacks in the draft, there were others among the coaching and scouting ranks who had their questions about Haskins.
While he possesses a big arm and stands tall in the pocket, a knock on Haskins is that he doesn’t possess great mobility and that he doesn’t consistently display the best anticipation. Washington coach Jay Gruden usually prefers mobile quarterbacks with a quick release.
However, those questions weren’t enough to dissuade Redskins brass from taking Haskins.
There certainly are other NFL talent evaluators who do see great potential in Haskins. Many predict that with some developing, Haskins can thrive and eventually draw comparisons to former Jacksonville Jaguars starter Byron Leftwich because of his size and arm strength.
It’ll be interesting to see how Gruden handles Haskins, however. Alex Smith might not play this season as his recovery from a broken leg remains slow. Colt McCoy also is recovering from a broken leg but is expected to be ready by training camp. Washington traded for Case Keenum, and he could compete for the starting job. Gruden is entering the final year of his deal and he needs his team to start winning, so it’s debatable as to whether he can endure the growing pains of a rookie like Haskins.
One other question involves the supporting talent that Haskins – or any Washington quarterback for that matter – has to work with. Washington’s wide receiver unit lacks impact players. Josh Doctson, a first-round pick in 2016, has durability and consistency issues. Tight end Jordan Reed has struggled to stay on the field as well. Slot receiver Jamison Crowder signed with the Jets in free agency. Paul Richardson is a deep threat, but he’s coming off of season-ending shoulder injury. And tight end Vernon Davis is aging.
Their picks in the next several rounds of the draft had better feature some offensive weapons.
Follow Mike Jones on Twitter @ByMikeJones.
Source: Read Full Article