Nate Geary’s Top Five QBs: #3 Dwayne Haskins

03/27/2019
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3. Dwayne Haskins (RS-So.) – Ohio State

Height: 6’3 Weight: 220 lbs

Career Stats: 22 GP, 5,396 passing yards, 54 TDs, 9 INT’s, 70 comp. %

Player Comparison: Byron Leftwich

Projected Round: 1

 

The Lowdown:

Haskins will likely show up as QB1 on a lot of other rankings nationally, and that’s fine. For the most part, there’s just not a ton separating the top quarterbacks in this draft, and when I look solely at Haskins I have a real tough time putting him at the top. He’s got the size you’re looking for at right around 6’3 and 200 pounds, but he lacks the level of athleticism it takes to be successful at the next level. I’m not suggesting he needs to be able to run away from people in the NFL and be a dynamic scrambler, but he simply hasn’t shown the consistent ability to beat teams at the college level outside of the pocket. In the NFL, sustained success at the quarterback position requires you to be able to able to function within the constraints of the offense, which won’t be a problem for Haskins. He thrives in the short and intermediate areas of the field on traditional 3, 5, and 7-step drops, but that ability drops significantly when things break down, and he’s forced to improvise or hold onto the ball past the top of his drop, things get ugly. Even on the short and intermediate stuff that requires that additional second or two to develop against even simple zone coverages, Haskins tends to drop his eyes, even with a clean pocket. It causes him to misidentify the vulnerable areas in coverage and often leads to late or inaccurate throws. He also can really struggle in the deep 7-step game even when in rhythm, showing a tendency to misread his vertical receivers. The Ohio State offense was absolutely filled with straight line, vertical threats, and it never seemed like Haskins fully utilized it, which I won’t fully blame on Haskins. On multiple occasions, even on his best film (e.g. against Michigan), Haskins consistently leaves deep balls short and inside, which is a huge no-no.

Having said all that, Haskins can absolutely wow you with his accuracy in the short and intermediate game when he’s on. A lot of the weaknesses you see in his game show up on film in last year’s Michigan State game, but you also saw a lot of the traits that will make him a first-round pick in April. When you put his Michigan film on, which many will argue is his best game, he lights up a defense packed with NFL starters. But if you’re watching, you don’t come away as impressed as you should be, considering he threw for nearly 400 yards and 6 touchdowns, most of which went to wide open receivers.

 

What They’re Saying:

 “Big and talented with explosive arm talent but limited mobility Haskins is a chance-taker with the arm strength to get away with some tight window throws that most in this class can’t make. Haskins is still very early in his journey and is prone to misreading coverage and stalling in getting through his progressions. While this is normal for an inexperienced quarterback, Haskins is going to be forced to learn on the fly against NFL speed and defensive coordinators conspiring to defeat him. His athletic limitations could keep him pocket-bound, but he has the arm talent, confidence and pocket savvy to become a good NFL starter if he’s protected and given the time to develop early on.”

 -Lance Zierlein (NFL.com)

“Only has one year of experience and probably isn’t ready to start immediately at the NFL level. He also played out of the shotgun at Ohio State, and while that isn’t disqualifying, some NFL teams — like, say, the Broncos — want their quarterbacks to be able to play under center too. Haskins also wasn’t asked to throw many deep passes — he ranked 37th among all FBS quarterbacks in average depth of target (9.7 yards), according to PFF — and he needs to become more consistent with his footwork, which should come with experience.

 -Ryan Wilson (CBS Sports)

My Take:

Haskins is going to find himself coming off the board in round one, even though I think in an ideal world he comes off the board some time on day two. The best situation, in my opinion, for Haskins to find himself in is in New York behind Eli Manning or in Cincinnati behind Andy Dalton. In both situations, he’s sitting behind veterans who can allow him to redshirt his first full year. The Mahomes route will have to be a requirement for me when it comes to Haskins. He’s not ready to step into a starting role at any point in 2019, and anyone who drafts him with that intention is setting him up to fail.

When we’re talking beyond 2019, I think I’m at a crossroads. Much like I see my comp for Haskins, Byron Leftwich, I view Haskins as a short-term answer in the NFL. I base that solely on what I saw on film, so if he reaches his full potential, maybe he becomes more. He’s got the arm strength, work ethic, and leadership ability to be a starting quarterback in the NFL, but he’ll need to be surrounded by an elite supporting cast like he was at Ohio State.

 

Game Film:

Vs. Michigan State

[video src="https://media.giphy.com/media/3oqnYNdk2PbQpCuCSN/source.mp4" /]

This play encapsulates the area of the field Haskins coordinates with elite accuracy. That middle, intermediate area of the field is where Haskins thrives and throws the ball with some of his best accuracy. On this particular play, you see Haskins drift out of the pocket to his left, which actually buys him the necessary time to allow the route to develop behind the zone. Everything you see from Haskins on this very play will be part of the reason one NFL team drafts him with their first-round pick. A quick release and great velocity lead his wide receiver, and with a defender in his face, to boot. He checks a bunch of boxes, for sure.

Vs. Michigan State

[video src="https://media.giphy.com/media/2aRKg3TIsT5gNrmiFK/source.mp4" /]

This next play is another route Haskins throws with great accuracy. A simple 3-step slant route is one that shows up on film a ton in any Urban Meyer offense. This is a brilliantly-thrown ball in terms of the timing and trust it takes to complete a pass where your receiver is blanketed in coverage. This is a translatable trait for the NFL game and one he didn’t necessarily show consistently enough, and that’s throwing guys open. At the next level, very rarely will guys be running wide open like many OSU receivers did in 2018.

Vs. Michigan State

[video src="https://media.giphy.com/media/7T2FqkXVKBBybfHXHn/source.mp4" /]

Although you saw some great things from Haskins against Michigan State in the previous two clips, it was widely considered is least impressive game of the 2018 season. Michigan State’s zone coverages really threw off the timing Haskins typically plays with. On this particular play, you see things that would concern any scout. With only a three-man rush, it’s clear from the snap of the ball that the Spartans are playing zone all the way, which means the routes from his receivers will have only small windows for him to complete his throw. What you see after Haskins gets to the top of his drop is that he has no immediate options to safely deliver the ball. He has all day and a great pocket to throw from, but for whatever reason, Haskins drops his eyes, which is the sole reason this wasn’t an easy completion for a first down. He identified the right guy to throw to, but he did so too late. Had he not dropped his eyes, he would have seen the window his receiver was about to enter and likely would have completed a very easy throw. The problem is, when you drop your eye due to an impending rush (which there wasn’t on this play), you lose the ability to produce results against a zone defense.

Vs. Michigan

[video src="https://media.giphy.com/media/7TcdZDcXMExFoVjEox/source.mp4" /]

Another good defense that Haskins played, the Wolverines, he got the best of. With as many as three first-round picks, the performance Haskins was able to put together was eye-opening. However, on this play, you see something that pops up on film too often, and that’s leaving his go-route short and inside. In the NFL, this play is likely a turnover and an unacceptable one at that. We’re talking about a 40-yard go route against man coverage; this is a quarterback’s dream pre-snap scenario, especially with the speed OSU boasts at the wide receiver position. There are no excuses worthy of leaving this play short because it should be a touchdown. He needs to do a much better job on his last step generating power and leading his receiver. It was ok to miss this throw inside as long as he put it out in front of his receiver, but that wasn’t the case. This is a big concern I have for Haskins and something that dramatically needs correcting.

 Vs. Michigan

[video src="https://media.giphy.com/media/PMjxjki29TTLPfJCVB/source.mp4" /]

Let’s end on a really great play from Haskins recognizing the leverage mismatch. Devin Bush, who will undoubtably be a first-round pick in April, was clearly not in position to make a play, and it was all by the design of Urban Meyer. The slants from the play-side occupied Bush just long enough to create the necessary separation the back needed to open himself up along the sideline. Haskins, with his quick recognition, identifies the mismatch and throws a perfectly accurate bucket pass to his leaking back just before the safety was able to get in a position to make a play. These are the sorts of plays you want to see your quarterback take advantage of.

 

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