The MMQB has asked three quarterbacking experts—long-time front-office exec and scout Joey Clinkscales, long-time coach and coordinator Todd Haley, and long-time NFL quarterback Bruce Gradkowski—to assess the top QB prospects of the 2019 draft. The QB Panel Film Room series continues with Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins…
FRONT OFFICE: Joey Clinkscales
Former Director of Player Personnel, Oakland Raiders; Vice President of College Scouting, New York Jets
Haskins is an early-entry junior who is a one-year starter at Ohio State. He is a big, strong-armed QB who set school and conference records in both touchdown passes and yards this season. From a skillset perspective he has a lot of the desired tools to be an NFL starter. There are still a lot of unknowns with this player, such as leadership—although I haven’t heard any negatives there—and it appears that a lot of pre-snap info is coming from the sidelines which, if that’s the case, could slow the learning curve. But again some of these things are just unknowns. He can make all the throws and has enough mobility not to be considered as just a pocket quarterback. He needs to clean up footwork and not depend on his arm to get him out of trouble. He had a lot of missed opportunities vs. Purdue (why?).
Strengths: Size, arm talent, ability to throw from different arm angles and body positions, ball placement and short/intermediate accuracy, mobility.
Weaknesses: Needs better touch at times (fastball too often), long release at times, not elusive in pocket or open field, will force ball under pressure at times which creates inaccurate throws, overthrows open receivers (Purdue game).
Player comp: If I had to compare this player to someone, I see traits of Daunte Culpepper. Daunte had more college experience but size, movement skills in pocket and in space, arm strength. Although different throwing motion.
Ideal landing spot: There are a couple teams that I feel could be ideal landing spots. I think the New York Giants should strongly consider this player and I think Miami should consider this player as well. I also think that, given the uncertainty with the future of the QB position in Tampa, that the conversation should be had there as well.
Can he be a starter in 2019?: I think Haskins has a chance of being the opening day starter in Miami and if taken by N.Y. Giants or Tampa that he would become the starter at some point in his rookie season. Obviously all the of these teams would present an opportunity for him to be their long-team starter and a player to build around. Ideally a team that already has an established deep threat or big-play receiver would help because he has the arm talent to stretch the field.
Potential to become a franchise QB: I’m not ready to put the franchise quarterback stamp on him yet because of all the unknowns. He has a big arm but was a one-year starter in college. A more established pedigree would make me feel better about that. It will be a wait and see, he will have growing pains.
COACH: Todd Haley
Former Head Coach, Kansas City Chiefs; Offensive Coordinator, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals
Strengths: Size, short accuracy, quick release, quick passing game, level of competition, protects the ball.
Weaknesses: Deep accuracy, don’t see many NFL throws, one-year starter, doesn’t see coverage, all shotgun, average athlete, can’t extend plays, minus runner, below-average drops/footwork
Player Comp: Jacoby Brissett.
Ideal landing spot: A west coast offense—progression passing game
Can he be a starter in 2019?: I would bet against him starting early. He had arguably best offensive line in college football, and a good supporting cast with a proven system. I believe the jump to the NFL will be a big one for him and he will be game manager-type early. I just didn’t see enough NFL throws on tape. And so much success was created by the system. He has shown the baseline skill set to be a successful one-year starter in college against a high level of competition, he shows very good short accuracy and the ability to be a progression passer. However he lacks downfield accuracy on tape and I don’t see him make many NFL throws. So it will take time and development.
Potential to become a franchise QB: I just didn’t see enough big-time plays to get real excited about him.
QUARTERBACK: Bruce Gradkowski
Former Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals, Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Strengths: He looks the part and by all accounts has great leadership qualities. He has a presence about him when you pop on the film. Big, strong frame that can stand in the pocket and take hits. Haskins does a good job getting the ball to where it should go. He understands the game and you can see the command he has of the offense on the field. Accurate on short and intermediate throws and demonstrates a strong, powerful arm.
Weaknesses: He doesn’t have a ton of experience. This doesn’t mean he won’t be successful but it’s something coaches should think about if they are looking for a day one starter. Haskins could do a better job on following through. He uses all arm when he throws—it will benefit him to learn how to use his legs, rhythm, and timing to elevate his throwing power and accuracy. He looks heavy-footed in the pocket. If the pocket is clean, he can make all the throws necessary, but I worry about his accuracy when the pocket starts to collapse on him. I also lack confidence in his escapability when things break down. He is able to get through his progressions but seems to be a little late at times. He has a tendency to wait and make sure he sees the receiver open rather than anticipate the open window. I’ve watched too many instances of his deep ball hanging in the air and receivers waiting on the football. His delivery seems to change at times and isn’t consistent.
Player comp: Haskins is comparable to Jared Goff. He has the arm talent and size of an NFL franchise quarterback. Very coachable and will work hard to maximize his abilities. With the right system, he could flourish as an NFL quarterback.
Ideal landing spot: An ideal landing spot for Haskins would be either Denver or Cincinnati. These teams already have a starting QB that he could learn under and gain knowledge that is imperative for him to succeed in the league.
Can he be a starter in 2019?: I wouldn’t trust him as a starter in 2019. His lack of experience, combined with his lack of mobility, could lead to a lot of struggles—especially if he was thrust into action as a rookie. This would be even more evident if he went to a team that doesn’t have a lot of talent surrounding him.
Potential to become a franchise QB: Haskins has the physical build and arm strength of an NFL franchise quarterback. He can withstand the pounding on a week in and week out basis. In a perfect world, I’d like to see him get drafted by a team where he can sit behind a starter for a year or two. If he gets the right opportunity with the right offensive system he could be a successful franchise quarterback. It would take a few years to learn their system and get the proper footwork and timing down.
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