#28 Dwayne Haskins, Quarterback, Ohio State
Before Kyler Murray decided to play football, Dwayne Haskins was widely considered a slam-dunk to be the first quarterback taken in the draft. The pendulum seems to have recently swung in Murray’s favor, but Haskins shouldn’t be too concerned as he is still considered one of the top options at his position. Also, due to the importance of the position, quarterbacks are typically drafted higher than their overall rank and this will obviously work in Haskins’ favor.
Last season, Haskins put up some impressive numbers and threw 50 touchdowns and 4,831 yards. Statistics like that will catch the eye of any NFL coach or general manager. Throwing the ball with a lot of touch and accuracy is probably his best trait and statistics back this up as he has a career completion percentage of 70 percent. The offensive system at Ohio State is a bit of a concern on the other hand. While it’s hard to tell without knowing the details of each play, it appears as if he was asked to make timing throws and didn’t necessarily have a progression to work through. This will be a big adjustment for him at the next level, but with the increased popularity of spread offenses in college, this situation is common among rookie quarterbacks. Also, Haskins’ average depth of target was 9.7 yards (ranked 37th) and this can inflate quarterback stats in terms of yards because the receiver ends up doing more work after the catch. He has the accuracy offensive coordinators covet and if he can pick up a NFL offense quickly, he will become an instant starter.
Fit for the Raiders
If you go to Twitter and search “Carr,” you will see that Raider Nation is split in regards to their quarterback of the future. Obviously, there are doubts about Derek Carr as a franchise quarterback, but after all he moves the Raiders have made this offseason, it wouldn’t make sense for them to move on from Carr… at least for now. Pairing 31-year old wide receiver Antonio Brown with a rookie quarterback would be a questionable decision as it typically takes signal callers two to three years to really develop and become a legitimate franchise quarterback. That means that if the Raiders move on from Carr and draft a quarterback, Brown will be 33 or 34-years old when said quarterback starts to hit his stride. Oakland is better off delaying this decision for the moment and should give Carr at least one more year.
Quarterback Philip Rivers enters the 2019 season at 37-years old and the Chargers need to start thinking about the future. They also don’t have a ton of holes on their roster, so they can afford to spend a first round pick on a player who probably won’t contribute much this year. The Patriots are another team that could be looking beyond 2019. Who knows when quarterback Tom Brady will retire, but you have to imagine it will be soon and New England’s head coach Bill Belichick is notorious when it comes to planning for the future. Yes, this breaks the rule of draft projections being within three spots of a player’s rank, but there aren’t a whole lot of quarterback needy teams at the end of round one. Yes, the section above lists a handful of reasons why the Raiders should avoid drafting Haskins, but there have been multiple reports that Oakland is interested in him. With the mainstream media, it can be hard to tell what’s fact and what’s pure speculation, so who knows if those reports are true. What we do know is Gruden loves quarterbacks and if Haskins is still around when the Raiders’ pick in the 20s, he won’t be out of the question.