When the Washington Redskins drafted quarterback Dwayne Haskins with the 14th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, fans saw it as a steal and for good reason. Before entering the draft, the rookie out of Ohio State had a historic junior season in 2018, throwing for 4,831 yards and 50 TD’s while finishing third in the Heisman Trophy voting.
Haskins had an underwhelming preseason and was pushed further down the depth in favor of veteran Case Keenum. Haskins did not see any action until week 4 when Keenum was benched for poor play.
Forced into action, Haskins not only looked inexperienced in the offense, but the coaches did not adapt the play calling to their new quarterback.
Unfortunately for Haskins, his debut was not one to remember. The rookie threw three interceptions and struggled to move the ball, even against a subpar Giants defense. With that said, here are five takeaways from Dwayne Haskins’ NFL debut.
1) It Can Only Get Better From Here
Saying that Dwayne Haskins had a rough debut is a bit of an understatement. After a promising first drive, the rookie quarterback struggled, finishing with 109 passing yards and a whopping three interceptions. Fortunately for Haskins, it can only get better from here.
If there is any good that comes from his debut, it's that Haskins now has mistakes to improve upon. Additionally, rookie receiver Terry McLaurin is expected back from injury in Week 5. Haskins and McLaurin were teammates at Ohio State, and developed great chemistry, connecting for 11 TD’s in 2018. With McLaurin’s return, Haskins should see improvement as the season progresses.
2) He Needs Time
For a player like Haskins, the potential is undeniable. His raw arm talent is something that cannot be taught, and his dominance as a passer was unparalleled during the 2018 collegiate season.
However, the NFL is a different animal. There’s much less room for error, and talent will only get a quarterback so far. Given Haskins’ struggles on Sunday, it was clear that he had trouble adjusting to the pro game, and he needs more time to acclimate himself to it. Therefore, Redskins fans should be patient for Haskins’ development, which could take longer than some would expect.
3) Turnovers are an Issue
Haskins’ unimpressive debut was highlighted by three interceptions. It’s typical for inexperienced QB’s to turn the ball over, but Haskins needs to cut down on the picks if he wishes to become a long-term starter. In fairness, one of these came as a result of a dropped pass that was tipped to the Giants, but Haskins’ other two picks were his doing.
Of course, there are many other things Haskins needs to work on, but his improvement will start with better ball security.
4) Pocket Presence is Questionable
Another reason for Dwayne Haskins’ poor debut was his struggle to make plays while under pressure. Haskins was constantly harassed by the Giants’ pass rush in Week 4, and all three of his turnovers were errant throws that resulted from blitzes.
Haskins was also sacked twice for a total loss of 21 yards. Both sacks were avoidable, and a more experienced quarterback would have accepted the sack instead of dropping back further.
While in college, Haskins played behind an offensive line consisting of four future NFL players. The talent around Haskins allowed him to take time in the pocket and make his reads. As a member of the Redskins, he does not have the same luxury.
In his first start, the Redskins’ O-Line struggled to block for Haskins, which led to the multiple forced throws. Unfortunately for Haskins, this facet of the game won’t get easier as long as All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams continues to hold out.
*preview photo credited to Redskins Wire