Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
(percentile rank among all QBs at the Combine since 1999, courtesy of mockdraftable.com):
40-yard dash: 5.04 seconds (12th)
Hand Size: 9.6" (54th)
Vertical: 28.5" (18th)
20-yard shuttle: DNP
QB J.T. Barrett starred for Ohio State during Haskins’ first 2 seasons on campus. When Barrett moved on to the NFL, Haskins finally had his chance to start.
Not only did the new guy earn the starting nod — he compiled a Heisman-caliber season, finishing 3rd in voting behind Kyler Murray and Tua Tagovailoa. Haskins set single-season Big Ten records for passing yards, total yards and passing TDs.
Not bad for a QB whose 14 starts in 2018 equaled his career-long total.
"He came a long way," OSU HC Ryan Day said via ESPN, "in a short period of time."
While boasting plenty of arm strength, Haskins was asked to work mostly in the short to intermediate ranges. Pro Football Focus charted his aDOT (average depth of target) at 9.1 — 37th in this class. Haskins did finish with a deep ball passer rating of 118.1, 8th best in the class and well ahead of likely QB1 Kyler Murray (107.8).
Haskins proved hyper-accurate with an adjusted completion rate of 77.1% (5th best in the class). OSU’s uber-athletic pass catchers made a space-based, catch-and-run offense a natural fit.
What you won't see a lot of — perhaps based on the scheme — is Haskins firing a ton of balls into tight windows. His accuracy and timing vs. quicker defenders will be worth watching at the next level.
Again, keep in mind that this guy has just 14 college starts under his belt. The only current NFL starter with 1 season of starting experience in college is … Mitchell Trubisky, at UNC.
Games watched: Michigan, Penn State, TCU, Maryland, Indiana
Haskins does an excellent job of getting the ball out quickly. Per draft analyst Brett Kollmann, 72% of Haskins’ 2018 throws were within 10 yards of the LOS. Kyler Murray, as a comparison, was at 57%.
So it's no surprise Haskins' completion rate (70%) stands out. Still, he's clearly accurate in the short to intermediate ranges. Here's one common example of him looking off a defender before hitting his receiver in stride.
As Ryan Day said last month, Haskins "is a rhythm player ... when he gets into a rhythm, he's as good as I've been around."
While the deep ball wasn't prominent in terms of volume, Haskins did record 17 TDs on passes traveling 20+ air yards. He didn't quite get one here, but it's impressive ball placement on a ball thrown ~55 yards.Here's another look at Haskins' arm, this time on a far-harsh throw that ends up outside the numbers. Note the pressure in his face -- and Haskins throwing flat-footed. He clearly has an NFL-quality arm.
Now, where Haskins can improve is avoiding turnover-inducing throws. Here, his eyes are glued to one side of the field. With the defense dropping into a zone look, the safety is able to break on the ball.
You won’t mistake Haskins for Russell Wilson or Cam Newton. But he’s not Eli Manning either, as some analysts seem to suggest. He’s certainly better at maneuvering in the pocket than he is executing zone-reads, but as we see in the next clip, he can pick up easy yards if the coverage allows.
What Haskins accomplished as a first-year starter was remarkable. He ran a diverse offense with RPOs, play-action fakes and West Coast concepts. And he improved as the season progressed with 388 yards and 4.25 TDs per game over his final 4 outings (Washington, Michigan, Michigan, Maryland).
Haskins' inexperience is the major wild card. He's also a below average athlete, which will hurt his fantasy upside in the pros.
Expect him to sit behind an experienced veteran, at least to begin the 2019 season. If not, he'll almost certainly take his lumps as a 14-game college starter.
Long-term, there's QB1 upside here -- realistically on the low-end side. Fantasy owners should simply exercise patience.