Jay Gruden has seen enough flashes of high-end talent from Dwayne Haskins to concede the first rounder is likely starting Week 1 for Washington.
The Washington Redskins have long struggled to find a franchise quarterback, but the hope is Dwayne Haskins is the answer.
So far in minicamp, Haskins has made enough eye-popping plays that head coach Jay Gruden has seen enough to know he might be ready to start in Week 1. ESPN’s John Keim reports Haskins has not only shown a big arm but also precision accuracy, fitting passes into tight windows.
Gruden said he has consistently made “wow” plays, and gushed about his new quarterback: “When he’s on, there’s nobody you’d rather have than Dwayne. Really. It’s pretty. He stands tall; he has a cannon, and he can quicken up his release. He’s got great touch. Strong, powerful arm; strong, powerful body.”
That’s quite high praise for a rookie. However, Gruden is quick to also state Haskins is not a finished product, saying, “Sometimes when he’s off, he’s abnormally off. It’s kind of weird.” He also emphasized Haskins has a long way to go mentally but again praised his desire to learn and his work ethic.
The Redskins have a known commodity in Case Keenum, who was acquired in an offseason trade, and who would start if Gruden thinks Haskins isn’t ready to start Week 1. Keenum has started 56 games in his career, going 26-28. He is known more as a game manager, but his experience might give the coaching staff comfort as they allow Haskins time more time to learn the playbook and get adjusted to the NFL speed.
But Haskins is pushing hard to grab that starting job from Week 1, and it sounds like he has a legitimate chance to do so after being taken with the No. 15 pick in the draft in April.
Whether he is named the starter will likely hinge on how well he has learned the offense and how to read defenses. To get there, Haskins said he plans to stay at the facility from now until training camp, studying. Redskins fans are rooting for him to be a quick study.