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Big-leap candidate: QB Dwayne Haskins
There are certainly other directions you could go in here, but Dwayne Haskins has to be the top option to make the big leap. Why? Because it seems highly likely that he’ll be the starting quarterback in 2020.
During his rookie season, Haskins didn’t fare well as a starter. When forced into action early in the season, he simply didn’t look ready for action. The Redskins had the right idea wanting to sit him for a season before giving him a chance to prove himself in 2020, but because of injuries, they had to have Haskins see action.
While Haskins did mostly struggle, he did show signs of improvement in his final two starts of the year. Against the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles, Haskins logged a 72 percent completion rate for 394 yards and four touchdowns in six quarters of action before an ankle injury sidelined him Week 16. He wanted to re-enter the game but for obvious reasons, the Redskins coaching staff and Dan Snyder elected not to play him to finish that game or the seasons.
In that short span of action, Haskins showed better decision making, more confidence, and an improved ability to read the field. He didn’t hold onto the ball too long and he didn’t make many ill-advised throws. He was in rhythm and comfortable. And if Scott Turner can help to make him comfortable in 2020 in a new system, it’s possible that Haskins could blossom.
Haskins has talent. He was just a one-year wonder at Ohio State and the raw rookie needed time to improve at the next level. The biggest variable affecting his 2020 performance will be adjusting to the new system, which could be a bit more difficult amid the pandemic, but if Haskins can have a solid foundation in it to start the season, he should have a chance to improve greatly.
This is a make or break year for Haskins. If he struggles, the Redskins may find themselves in position to add a new quarterback to replace him. But if he progresses, he could at least buy himself another year or two to convince the Redskins that he is the answer. Only time will tell what happens, but Haskins seems to have a bigger opportunity on his plate than any other Washington player.