He wasn’t the first quarterback selected, nor was he the second. But at the No. 15 spot, the Washington Redskins made the call to bring a local star back home. Playing high school football in Potomac, Md., before coming to the Ohio State Buckeyes, Dwayne Haskins gets to come back to the DMV—the nickname given to the area of Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
The Redskins got a steal with Haskins going at the place he did. Let’s look at five reasons why the NFC East unit should be excited for picking up, arguably, the best QB in Ohio State history.
1) He was an instant success at Ohio State
Out of the gate, Haskins showed what he could do. When starting QB J.T. Barrett got hurt during the Michigan game in 2017, Haskins stepped up and brought the Bucks back. When Barrett graduated, Haskins was running the ship to begin the 2018 season.
In his first game as starter, he picked apart the Oregon State defense—going for a school record 313 yards and five touchdowns, the most ever for a first-time starting QB. Three weeks later against Tulane, he showed his efficiency; he went 21-of-24 for 304 yards and five scores.
He’ll have to make a transition to the professional level, but Haskins has showed his ability to hit the ground running.
2) A record-setting year as starter
Mentioned already was his record-setting ability out of the gate. But when the season came to a close with a Rose Bowl win, we had a complete picture of just how powerful the Dwayne Train was when it rolled through Columbus.
Twenty-eight school records were set by Haskins, including single season passing yards (4,831), total offensive yards (4,939) and touchdown passes (50). Rearranging the record books brought Dwayne the Silver Football, awarded to the best football player in the Big Ten; Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year; and the Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year award.
Conference wise, he set seven records. One of which was being named Big Ten Player of the Week, which he did six times.
3) Haskins is the first Big Ten QB selected in the first round since 1995
The Big Ten has produced some stars at QB. Tom Brady and Drew Brees are a couple that come to mind, but none of them were first round picks.
Prior to Haskins getting his named called, the last Big Ten QB to make it as a first round selection was Kerry Collins in 1995. Collins had a electric senior season in 1994-95, leading Penn State to an unbeaten and Rose Bowl winning season. While Collins didn’t even pass for 2,700 yards, he was selected No. 5 in the draft by Carolina.
As a conference supporter, there’s pressure on Dwayne to succeed in Washington. If he does well, then maybe teams will take a closer look at Big Ten QBs as first round selections.
4) He destroyed ranked opponents
A reason Haskins made it as a first round pick isn’t just because he set records. He set records while torching pretty good teams. He led the Buckeyes to a win in, virtually, an away contest against TCU at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. He led OSU on the road against Penn State, where he was a key component in manufacturing two scoring drives late in the game to pull off the come-from-behind victory in State College, 27-26. And then against the “most vaunted” and No. 1 ranked defense in America, he obliterated the Michigan Wolverines for 396 yards and six (!) scores.
Just look at this.
In the postseason, he conducted the Buckeyes offense to wins against Northwestern (Big Ten Championship) and Washington (Rose Bowl). These were good teams he did well against. Granted, he did have big numbers against teams that weren’t so good (Rutgers, Maryland), but at least he didn’t get obliterated by Wake Forest like another draftee did...
5) He’s out to prove
There was a pretty palpable feeling that Dwayne was going to the New York Giants. That was right up until the Giants made their pick at No. 6 and selected...Daniel Jones out of Duke.
For the 2018 season, Jones had a sub-2,700 yard campaign, and guided the Blue Devils to a 7-5 overall record. In his regular season finale against Wake Forest, Jones was held to 145 yards on 17-of-36, a touchdown, and an interception.
Here was Dwayne’s reaction after getting passed on by the NYG.
Wait for it.— NBC Sports Redskins (@NBCSRedskins) April 26, 2019
Dwayne Haskins' reaction when the Giants passed on him to take Duke QB Daniel Jones pic.twitter.com/G3bZTcAi0l
Folks, be prepared for Dwayne to torment the Giants for the next decade (or two).