Quarterbacks typically dominate Round 1 of the draft, and Dwayne Haskins is the guy who will make teams deal up for him in 2019.
Kyler Murray is the top quarterback in this year’s draft class, but the odds favor him going off the board to the Cardinals with the No. 1 overall pick. That leaves the consensus No. 2 quarterback in the class, Dwayne Haskins, as the player most likely to cause the biggest shock waves in Round 1.
The logic here is pretty straightforward. The history of the draft is littered with teams making moves up the board to grab the signal callers of their choice. No position forces teams to move up more than quarterback. There’s a legitimate argument to be made over the intelligence of that phenomenon, but it clearly exists.
Unless a team blows the Cardinals away with an offer to take Murray at No. 1, his impact on this draft is going to be fairly minimal. His arrival in Arizona should initiate a trade of Josh Rosen to another quarterback-needy team, but that’s not going to cause a seismic shift in Round 1. Chances are, Rosen will be dealt for a Round 2 selection.
Haskins is a prospect that will almost certainly go in Round 1. The real question is which team will fall in love with him. The Raiders could give him a look at high as No. 4, but the Giants definitely have strong interest at No. 6. There’s no indication that New York is dead set on him as a prospect though. That opens the door for them to trade the pick to a team that’s more convinced of Haskins’ talent.
The news that Haskins is spending time with both the Redskins and Broncos this week makes it clear that other teams think they have a legitimate chance to select him. While it’s possible those franchises will wait to see if Haskins falls down to their picks, a trade is much more likely. For the purposes of context, the Broncos currently own the No. 10 pick while the Redskins would need Haskins drop all the way to No. 15.
There aren’t a lot of quarterback-hungry teams picking immediately after the Giants, but if either Washington or Denver chooses to wait for Haskins to drop past New York they’re going to be taking a massive risk.
First of all, they have to assume that New York is going to pass on the former Ohio State star. That seems pretty unlikely. Eli Manning can’t play quarterback for the Giants forever. Coming out of this draft with a high-ceiling replacement would be a big win for General Manager Dave Gettleman and his front office.
Secondly, they’ll need to hope that no team with a later pick will choose to jump in front of them. The Dolphins have the No. 13 pick and a big need at quarterback. The Raiders have the draft ammunition to package a few of their later picks to move back up into the top 10 and no one believes they’re really committed to Derek Carr.
Add all of those circumstances up and it’s clear the safe move for the Redskins or Broncos would be to make a deal with the Giants to get to No. 6. New York would make that an expensive transaction for either team. Of course, any team that believes Haskins can grow into a Pro Bowler should be willing to pay a heavy price to secure his services.
There will be trades that shake up the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, and it would be a major shock if one involving Haskins didn’t end up being the most influential transaction. Where he lands will go a long way towards determining how the rest of Day 1 will play out.