NFL

Why Dwayne Haskins is The Most Under-Appreciated QB in The League

Oct 4, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) attempts a pass against the Baltimore Ravens during the first quarter at FedExField.
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Washington has benched former 1st round pick, Dwayne Haskins. That has to be the most disrespectful move thus far this year.

Haskins is an Ohio State product who finished third in the Heisman voting in 2018. He showed the potential to be a future star in the NFL as a quarterback. Haskins would finish a 13-1 season trip to the Rose Bowl for Urban Meyer’s last game. In 2018, as the starter, Haskins threw for more than 4800 yards and 50 touchdowns with four rushing TD’s. How Coach Ron Rivera benched him after a Week 4 loss to the Ravens remains puzzling.

Washington spent their first-round pick on Haskins in 2019. They envisioned him as the quarterback of the future after an Alex Smith injury that put his career in jeopardy. Haskins was upset that he fell to the 15th overall pick after the Giants selected Daniel Jones 6th overall. However, that meant Haskins had to prove he is an elite rookie QB.

Rookie Season

Haskins’ first season was underwhelming. He had a brief stint in Washington’s Week 4 game against the Giants. The then starting QB Case Keenum was benched. Haskins went in and threw three interceptions. After that, he didn’t play again until Week 8 vs. the Vikings. Haskins was named the Week 10 starter over Keenum and veteran QB Colt McCoy. That was Haskins’ chance to prove all the haters wrong, especially the Giants.

Unfortunately, Haskins finished the season with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He finished with less than 2000 passing yards, 34th overall. That doesn’t seem like much but look at some of the very close games Washington had with Haskins at QB. Back-to-back wins over the Lions and a Christian McCaffrey led-Panthers, and a five-point loss to the Packers. Washington won three games last year, and two of them were with Haskins at quarterback. You cannot put the blame on Haskins for “poor production” when the team did horribly last year. They were 1-7 with Keenum starting, and 0-1 with McCoy. Haskins really did the best job, going 2-5 as the starter.

Haskins Shows Upside

Coach Rivera came in this year in a harsh climate and chose to start Haskins week 1, which turned out to be a great choice. After being down 17-7 in the first half, Philadelphia went scoreless in the second half, while Haskins threw for a touchdown and 178 yards to come back and win by 10.

That showed a lot of upside for Haskins; he continued to dominate the next few weeks on the offensive end, but Washington’s defense never seemed to show up. In week two, he threw one touchdown and 233 yards in a loss to Arizona. The next game, he threw two touchdowns and 224 yards in a loss to Cleveland. In week 4, he didn’t throw any touchdowns but had 314 yards, more than his opponent Lamar Jackson did that week.

After a vast improvement from last season, throwing 939 total yards ahead of Jimmy Garoppolo, Cam Newton, and Ryan Tannehill, Rivera decided to bench him.

Besides, Washington has one of the worst offensive lines in the league and only has one consistent receiver in Terry McClaurin. It says something about how good McClaurin is, but he has led Washington every week in reception yards, including a week with only 61 yards!

If you want to blame anyone, blame owner Dan Snyder for Haskins’ nearly pathetic wide receivers. He released their second option Jordan Reed and are left with Logan Thomas, a tight end who hasn’t received more than 40 yards in one game this year. Certainly, Antonio Gibson has stepped into a receiving role, catching four passes for 82 yards in week 4, but this is not going to cut it. There is no source of scoring on the team. If you look at the depth chart, you’ll see some familiar faces, including Thaddeus Moss, Randy Moss’ son, national champion with LSU, and Bryce Love, star running back from Stanford. Nevertheless, you can certainly point fingers at Snyder for not drafting the right guys and continually hiring and firing coaches because they can’t win games.

Solutions?

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported Sunday that Washington is now looking to trade Haskins. That would most likely be the best option for both sides. A few teams that could use his throwing abilities and have a strong wide-receiving core already include the Broncos, who struggle to be consistently good with Drew Lock. The Bears, who, although beat Tom Brady’s Buccaneers this weekend, could use an upgrade to 31-year old Nick Foles. Surprisingly, the Falcons, whose owner Arthur Blank claimed that Matt Ryan is not the QB of the future, could pursue a new QB. Haskins could certainly fit in well with these pass-first systems.

At this point, it seems that Haskins is still the best option. And if he is lucky enough to find another home, we hope that he excels there and proves Snyder, Rivera, and the Washington organization so wrong for benching him.

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