The Redskins did not know it. Not yet. But on the night of the 2019 NFL Draft, their fate would be set in motion by an NFC East rival.
“With the sixth pick in the 2019 NFL Draft… the New York Giants select… Daniel Jones.”
Dwayne Haskins didn’t look up from his phone. While jeers erupted from family and friends around him, and while the analysts on the screen ahead fawned over New York’s next franchise passer, Haskins didn’t look. He smirked, shook his head, and crossed the Giants off his list. Next.
Did it bother Haskins, the Heisman finalist, that the team who’d met with him at the combine, and the team who’d hosted him on a private visit in the lead-up to the draft, had passed him over? The team that had supposedly seen who he was, and what he could do? The team that couldn’t afford to miss with the No. 6 pick?
If it did bother him, Haskins didn’t show it. He knew another opportunity would come.
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The picks kept coming, and Haskins’ name continued to fall. Would the Steelers, with Ben Roethlisberger wandering toward twilight, anoint his successor at No. 10 after trading up? No. They took Devin Bush. Would the Bengals, with a new regime, proffer the next era to their city with the selection of Haskins? No. They chose Jonah Williams. Would the Dolphins, the equivalent of ashes before the phoenix, take Haskins to pilot their resurrection? No. The Dolphins picked Christian Wilkins.
By the time the Washington Redskins were on the clock, everyone knew who the pick was going to be. It could only be one name. And when Roger Goodell walked onto the stage and mounted at the podium, he confirmed the suspicions of millions.
And in the words of Haskins himself, “the league done messed up”.