Redskins should not consider moving on from Dwayne Haskins in 2020
By Ian Cummings
The Redskins starting quarterback situation should be set in stone, but a precedent set by the Cardinals last year has complicated things.
In 2019, the Arizona Cardinals moved on from incumbent starter and former first-round pick Josh Rosen, and drafted former Oklahoma star and Heisman winner Kyler Murray with the No. 1 overall pick. In 2020, the Washington Redskins have a similar opportunity, to bring in a fresh start. But is a fresh start necessary, and worth the potential costs?
If you want my unfiltered opinion, here it is.
You can never deal in absolutes with anything, which means there is a very remote chance that Ron Rivera and the Redskins choose to move on from Dwayne Haskins. But based on what we’ve heard from Rivera and offensive coordinator Scott Turner, they’re excited to work with him. And they should be.
In my opinion, the Redskins should not consider moving on from Haskins in 2020. As opposed to Rosen in 2018, Haskins showed tangible, linear growth down the stretch in 2019. His performance clearly got better as games went on, and he matured and showed a better capacity for the pressure of the NFL. As I wrote in an article detailing Turner’s confidence in Haskins, his stats matched the tape, in terms of his quick development.
"After earning spot duty early on in the season, Haskins officially took the starting job from Case Keenum in Week 9, after Keenum was removed from the lineup with an injury. As a starter, Haskins threw for 107 completions, 1,225 yards, seven touchdowns, and three interceptions on 181 attempts, good for a passer rating of 85.5. In his last two starts, Haskins was 31 for 43, with 394 yards, four touchdowns, and no picks."
Haskins isn’t guaranteed to succeed, but neither would be the hypothetical quarterback selection at No. 2. And if the Redskins keep Haskins, they have more resources to build a strong supporting cast around him, since they wouldn’t be using the No. 2 pick on a quarterback. Also, the Cardinals had 11 picks and four early picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, so they had the ammunition to adequately rebuild around a new quarterback. Washington isn’t in that position, with just seven picks and two early picks.
I’d probably rate at least three quarterbacks in the 2020 NFL Draft as better prospects than Haskins, but since Haskins has accrued a year of NFL experience, that comparison is no longer on equal ground. Haskins has proven that he has the upside to be a successful starter in the NFL. His processing got better as the game slowed down for him, and to me, he showed better arm talent and mobility than what was previously shown in college tape. He’s not Lamar Jackson, but he can make plays on his legs, as he did on several occasions, and his arm talent is well above-average.
Haskins’ best trait displayed, however, was his poise and toughness. He withstood a lot of adversity in his first year in Washington, and in the end, he came out on the uptrend. That’s always a good sign, and now, with a solid coaching foundation supporting him, and with chemistry between him and the young weapons in the team’s skill position core, there’s no reason to break apart this crucial bond.
It’s the most cost-effective decision to roll with and continue to develop Haskins, get the most out of that first-round pick, and use assets in the 2020 NFL Draft on other needs. When trying to be objective, that’s how I see it. What’s your take?