Dwayne Haskins only started for one season at Ohio State, but that doesn’t mean the rookie quarterback won’t start for the Redskins when Week 1 arrives.
It’s safe to say Redskins head coach Jay Gruden was impressed with what he saw from Dwayne Haskins during rookie OTAs. Despite having one of the most crowded quarterback rooms in the NFL, Gruden insists that his rookie quarterback has a chance to win the team’s starting job in the preseason.
Unlike a lot of quarterback competitions, it seems to be a three-horse race in the nation’s capital. Gruden makes no secret of his appreciation for Case Keenum’s overall experience in the league and Colt McCoy’s familiarity with what the Redskins’ offensive system. Even so, no one with the Washington coaching staff is ready to rule out the chances of Haskins being under center when the regular season begins.
It’s pretty obvious that Haskins has the most physical talent of the trio. Keenum and McCoy have both enjoyed several opportunities to hold down a job as an NFL starter, but neither has ever been able to truly establish themselves as anything better than a journeyman quarterback. Haskins is well beyond that pair on experience, but he can make throws that no one else in the competition can make.
The challenge for the former Ohio State star will be to adjust to the speed and mental difficulties associated with the professional game. He’ll be required to make much more difficult reads for the Redskins than he was ever faced with at the collegiate level. His ability to understand what opposing defenses are doing will largely dictate how soon he’s ready to play meaningful snaps.
Even if Haskins doesn’t win the job coming out of the preseason, it will be a major surprise if he doesn’t win the job at some point during the 2019 regular season. Washington didn’t spend a first-round pick on Haskins to keep him on the bench for a significant amount of time. The front office will want to see him take the field as soon as he’s anywhere near ready to play. Gruden and his coaching staff will be very aware of that desire from the team’s higher-ups.
No matter how you look at it, Keenum and McCoy are working on borrowed time in Washington. The Redskins are going to cede control of their offense to Haskins as soon as possible. Gruden’s early admission that he has a chance to win the competition in the preseason shouldn’t surprise anyone.