The latest player to fall under our curious gaze in our rookie review series was the third quarterback taken in the 2019 NFL Draft. Washington spent the 15th overall selection on Ohio State signal-caller Dwayne Haskins. I’m betraying no oaths when I say that Haskins did not exactly take the NFL by storm in his first year. But he is not fully to blame for this. Let’s dive in.
By The Numbers
If these numbers don’t look good, it’s for a good reason. They’re not. Mind you, Haskins wasn’t exactly overwhelmed with opportunities to make plays in the Washington offense. Jay Gruden was fired after an 0-5 start. From Week 6 on, Washington was one of the least pass-happy teams in the NFL.
The run … it was established.
Haskins saw action in two games before his first start in Week 9. This action saw him throw four interceptions and zero touchdowns. In fact, in his first six games, Haskins didn’t throw a score in five of them. To his credit, he did come into form as the season drew to a close. In his last three games, he tossed five touchdowns and just a single interception.
Not exactly touted as the second coming of Lamar Jackson, Haskins did flash some athletic ability. He racked up more than 20 yards rushing in three games. But his athletic skills couldn’t stop him absorbing 29 sacks at a 12.5 percent rate. In six of his seven starts, Haskins took at least two sacks.
In order to find players who enjoyed comparable seasons, I did what we’ve done in the past when carrying out this series. I set the RotoViz Screener to find rookies from 2010 to 2019 and selected some basic production and usage numbers as variables. Then I asked the Screener to find seasons comparable to my target player — in this instance, Haskins. Here’s what we found, but readers of a nervous disposition should probably look away now.
Groucho Marx once said that he wouldn’t want to be a part of any club that would have him as a member. I think Haskins may have a similar mindset when one sees these comps. To his credit though, Haskins is not, and was not, the worst player in this cohort. But that’s a really low bar.
As a possible range of outcomes for Haskins, let’s take a look at how these players fared in their second seasons.
“But Neil” I hear you cry, “There are only four players. Where’s the fifth?” Well, gentle reader, Jimmy Clausen didn’t play in his second year. In fact, his rookie season probably contributed to his not playing again until 2014.
If we are looking for a positive historical comp, then the best-case scenario is Jared Goff. Goff’s improvement in passing efficiency from a rookie to his second season was impressive. Goff, like Haskins, had a new offensive staff heading into Year 2. But if you’re telling me that Haskins is the second coming of Jared Goff, you’ll forgive me for not breaking out the party hats.
History would suggest that, after his struggles as a rookie, we should not expect too much of Haskins moving forward. Yes, the 1920s offense preferred by Bill Callahan is gone in Washington. In its place is a more modern looking scheme pioneered by Scott Turner, son of a former Washington head coach. But as I write this, Haskins is not exactly falling over playmakers everywhere he looks. Tight end Vernon Davis has retired. Jordan Reed is likely to move on. Former big-money free agent Paul Richardson is a possible cap casualty. That just leaves fellow rookie and Ohio State alum Terry McLaurin. To be fair, these two did show flashes of continuing their college chemistry in the NFL.
But Washington needs to bring in more offensive weapons for Haskins. They should probably look towards getting some decent blocking in for their QB as well. But they will probably look to do this later in the draft, as they surely cannot be thinking of passing on another Ohio State player in Chase Young. Daniel Jeremiah doesn’t think they will.
Haskins is not a player that seems to be attracting a lot of attention from the high stakes fantasy community. He’s currently being taken as the QB28 over at the FFPC. This is behind such luminaries as Joe Burrow (yet to even enter the NFL) and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
I don’t like to write someone off this quickly, especially when they seemed like a good prospect coming out of college. But while I think Dwayne Haskins could very well outperform his comps, that doesn’t mean he is someone that my fantasy teams need to have on a weekly basis. Let’s become a streaming candidate first, Dwayne, then take it from there.