Dwayne Haskins: Fantasy Scouting Report
The 2019 draft class is not particularly known for its quarterback supremacy. Feelings of Deja Vu linger as I am reminded of the 2016 quarterback prospect pool. Of course, instead of Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, it is Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins. Both guys believed to be the only two that are worth a high first-round draft pick this year. If you recall, I already released a prospect breakdown of Murray a few weeks ago. So, I thought it was only right to lend my process to the other side of the token in evaluating Haskins.
Right now, people are making a strong case that Haskins is the safer pick at the quarterback position. With an impressive 2018 campaign, it is hard to argue with those people. But was that enough to crown him the top player at the position? Especially over other prospects with lengthier track records of production and playing time? If my process does one thing well, it is answering questions like the one just possed. Shall we?
Dwayne Haskins: Top Dog or Underdog?
School: Ohio State
Weight: 214 lbs
D.O.B: 5/3/1997 (21 years old)
Dwayne Haskins’ college history is not long, but it is impressive. Haskins came into Ohio State as a four-star recruit out of Bullis Prep School in Potamic, Maryland – where he was originally committed to play for the Terps before deciding to be a Buckeye. Haskins was a quarterback on the tail end of a long line of Ohio State quarterbacks like Braxton Miller, Cardale Jones, and his superior, J.T. Barrett. Haskins came into the 2016 season and redshirted his first year.
In 2017, Haskins was the backup to Barrett. Despite that fact, Haskins was able to see playing time in eight games. Although he never started any games during the 2017 season, Haskins still flashed some abilities that led people to believe he could be a starter at the college level. In those eight games, Haskins went 40 for 57 and had 565 yards, four touchdowns, and only one interception. He was on his way to becoming a huge factor for the Buckeyes the following season.
2018 was the year that Haskins really came alive. Aside from putting up some insane statistics in his first year as a starter, he also added some impressive accolades to his personal shrine. On the back of a massive 373 completions for 4,831 yards and 50 touchdowns season, Haskins proved he was one of the best prospects in the country as a redshirt sophomore. Not only was it massive, but it was truly record-breaking. He set the Ohio State and BIG TEN single-season passing and touchdown record by eclipsing 4,000 yards and throwing for more than 40 touchdowns. To cap off an impressive 2018 campaign, Haskins was named First Team All-BIG TEN and a Heisman award finalist in 2018.
Two teams drafting in the Top 10 are reportedly already "in love" with former Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins and after the combine, his stock will only rise.
— Bleacher Report NFL (@BR_NFL) February 6, 2019
Haskins can dime up and down the field and he makes it look easy when he does. He possesses enough strength to push the ball up the field vertically but struggled to do so with consistency. Haskins had good accuracy in 2018, especially in tight windows and intermediate areas of the field. He had good touch on the ball when attacking soft spots in zone coverage or throwing to a receiver at the sidelines. His arm mechanics are compact and puts plenty of zip on the ball when he needs to. Overall, Haskins’ arm talent is NFL ready.
Haskins lacked some mobility that you would like to see out of quarterbacks in today’s game. Regardless, his pocket awareness was great. He showed the ability to climb the pocket and make great throws from a strong platform. Perhaps Haskins’ best attribute inside the pocket is his ability to keep his eyes downfield and move through his progressions. Haskins has a good sense of when his offensive line is failing him and when he needs to get the ball out of his hands. Despite not having great mobility he is not a statue in the pocket.
Haskins showed good ability to diagnose coverages at the line of scrimmage. He also showed the ability to process coverages and reads at a fast pace and rarely gets stuck on a single read. Haskins has a really good vision of the field and does best when reading fast developed routes and concepts. This ability helps him to have above average anticipation on where he wants to put the ball. Often times he succeeds. One area of concern here is the longer developing plays. Haskins is very quick to jump from read to read and this creates missed opportunities down the field.
Haskins is not an athletic quarterback by any means. Although he has great pocket awareness, when his pocket breaks down and he has no read available, he crumbles. Haskins’ lack of escapability of the pocket makes him somewhat one-dimensional when faced with consistent pressure. He does have enough athleticism to break away from time to time but not nearly enough to throw accurately on the run or outrun defenders. He works best from a clean pocket but lacks the ability to get going on the run or extend the play outside the pocket. This may be an issue on how much he can rely on his football IQ and arm talent at the next level.
From a statistical standpoint, Haskins had one of the most prolific single seasons in college history. On top of breaking the single-season passing yards and touchdown record at Ohio State and the BIG TEN, he also notched some other impressive statistical milestones. Haskins led the NCAA in passing yards and passing touchdowns and ranked second in pass completions, attempts, and total yards in all of college. He also ranked fourth in passer rating in 2018. In the BIG TEN, Haskins led in every single statistical category for a quarterback except for interceptions. He was absolutely lights out in 2018.
Haskins passing yards per game in 2018 versus his age was phenomenal. He averaged 354 yards per game through 14 games and was well above the threshold for quarterbacks with top 36 seasons at his age. He also broke the single-game passing yards record at Ohio State with 499 in a single game.
Passer rating at the college level is essentially the equivalent to a quarterback market share. It’s important to see this because it tells you of a quarterback’s overall passing production inside their offense. The above chart shows Haskins’ passer rating in 2018 compared to other top prospects at the position. As you can see, in his only full season as a starter, Haskins was among the best in all of college football. The data only backs up the prolific play we saw on tape, and it does it with confidence.
Haskins is a quarterback prospect with good arm talent and great football IQ. His ability to diagnose coverage and play to his strengths at the line of scrimmage are NFL ready. He displayed the accuracy and arm talent to be a high-level passer at the next level. His field vision and pocket awareness allow him to cognitively make the best decisions whether from a clean pocket or under pressure. Haskins possesses the mental wherewithal both pre and post snap to make the best decision on where to go with the ball and ultimately this leads to winning football.
Concerns over his lack of athleticism will be real and rightfully so. Haskins has a tendency to look one dimensional when knocked off his platform. He will need to develop a level of patience to go along with his pocket awareness and learn to let plays develop before coming off main reads too quickly. The team that selects Haskins should have a reliable offensive line already in place as Haskins’ immediate future in the NFL is predicated on keeping him clean and upright.
Overall, Haskins has his discrepancies as does every prospect. But he displays a level of consistency, arm talent, and football IQ that make his future outlook bright.
Haskins is locked as a top-two quarterback in this year’s rookie drafts. I currently have him ranked as my QB2 in pre-combine rankings. He will likely be a late-round pick in standard 1QB leagues but will be a guy you want to get your hands on if your quarterback depth is aging or constantly injured. From a superflex perspective, Haskins should be one of the first five picks off the board in rookie drafts regardless of quarterback situation on your roster. Between him and other prospects, I would say Haskins has one of the safer floors out of the gate. However, his fantasy ceiling is extremely unknown due to limited sample size and an unknown draft situation at this point.