The New York Giants are said to be interested in Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins. The Giants badly need a franchise quarterback, so it makes sense that the Giants are scouting the top quarterbacks in this year’s draft class.
There is no perfect quarterback in the 2019 class. Every signal-caller who will be drafted in April has major flaws. Haskins is no different. In fact, Haskins may be the most polarizing quarterback prospect in recent memory.
Haskins is not polarizing when it comes to his demeanor or his off-the-field persona. He has not given NFL executives any reason to be concerned about his work habits or his character.
On the other hand, Haskins’ on-field traits an tangible characteristics are all over the place. Going into the combine, Haskins was thought of as a strong pocket passer with limited mobility. His performance in the 40-yard dash both confirmed the fact that he is not a strong runner and raised a red flag about his NFL future. No one expected Haskins to break any records, but few scouts expected him to run a 5.04 and a 5.06 in his two attempts, either. Haskins blamed his slow times on leg cramps, but that is a weak excuse. Why would he not be properly hydrated or stretched out before an important workout? It just doesn’t make any sense.
Haskins may be a slow runner, but he has a very quick release and looks comfortable in the pocket. The former Buckeye completed 70 percent of his passes in 14 starts in 2018. A quick release is a major part of being an accurate quarterback in the NFL, and as such his accuracy should translate to the next level.
The young quarterback had a lot of success last season, but he does not have a lot of experience. Haskins only started 14 games in college, and some of those games were against cupcake opponents. At the same time, Haskins did play several games against ranked teams. Most notably, he shredded Michigan’s defense in the Buckeyes’ 62-39 win over their arch-rivals on the last day of the regular season. Haskins has limited experience and is young, but he has performed well in big games and has shined against top-tier college defenses.
It is fair to point out Haskins’ inexperience, but the system Haskins played in provides a more important question. The question is: How much of Ohio State’s success last year could be attributed to Haskins? The quarterback took just 20 sacks and attempted 533 passes last season. That means that he was sacked on 3.6 percent of the time when he was attempting to pass. In the NFL, only Andrew Luck, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, and Tom Brady were sacked on less than four percent of their dropbacks in 2018. Haskins’ offensive line and Ohio State’s offensive scheme combined to provide plenty of protection for him. The Buckeyes had more talent than almost every single team they played against last year. In addition, Haskins was throwing his passes to receivers who will be in the NFL next year. The same cannot be said for every college quarterback.
Do the Giants do a good job of protecting their quarterbacks? Not exactly. Last season, Eli Manning was sacked on 7.5 percent of his dropbacks. In other words, he was sacked twice as often as Haskins was in 2018. Part of Manning’s troubles had to do with his lack of mobility and the adjustment to a new offensive scheme, but a larger part of his troubles can be attributed to a porous offensive line. The Giants offensive line is better now than it was a year ago, but it is still not one of the best units in the league.
It stands to reason that Haskins would not fare much better than Manning in terms of avoiding pressure, since… well… Haskins may actually be slower than Manning (if that is even possible). Manning ran a 4.92 40-yard dash during the months preceding the 2004 NFL Draft. Haskins is not going to be able to run away from big-time NFL pass rushers.
Haskins isn’t a Giant yet, but the front office has already tipped its hand, and it is clear that the Giants are desperate to draft a quarterback. Throughout the past several years, the Giants procrastinated and put off their search for another franchise quarterback. As a result, the new front office did not do its best work, which means that the Giants could be stuck in quarterback purgatory for a few years.
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