We All Need Someone to Lean on, Part Five: Dwayne Haskins’ 2020 Outlook

David Willsey

Editor’s note: This is the fifth piece in a six-part series. Be sure to check out the final part at DLF coming soon!

READ: Part One: Young Quarterbacks and the Dispersal of Targets | Part Two: Kyler Murray’s 2020 Outlook | Part Three: Daniel Jones‘ 2020 Outlook | Part Four: Drew Lock’s 2020 Outlook

In part five of this series, we are going to look at the most disappointing of the four rookies we are covering, Dwayne Haskins of the Washington Redskins. Was it really so disappointing though?

Haskins is a former Ohio State Buckeye, selected in the 2019 first round with the 15th overall pick. It was lower than many expected but we all thought he was locked into a starting job. This was far from the truth, as Haskins did not see action until week four and then again until week eight. The young QB started his career off throwing four interceptions and zero touchdowns but did complete over 61% of his passing attempts and was slotted into the starting role in week nine.

Rookie Campaign

The slow start continued for the next four weeks as Haskins’ completion percentage dropped to just over 54%. He did, however, do a better job protecting the ball by throwing just two interceptions, but, just two touchdowns as well. Week 14 is where we started to see some growth in the kid’s game…

word image 135

The yardage production may not look all that impressive but a 5-1 touchdown-interception ratio is a vast improvement on the 2-6 TD-INT ratio prior to the final three games of Haskins’ season. A high-ankle sprain in week 16 ended his rookie campaign prematurely but it was definitely good to see some progression from the young QB.

Now, with the new coaching staff in Washington stating that Haskins is the clear-cut starter (February 8th interview with Washington’s VIP of Player Development, Doug Williams), we can feel more confident but he needs weapons to reach the first-round potential and that was abundantly clear in 2019. Outside of stud rookie wideout Terry McLaurin and maybe Steven Sims as a very pleasant surprise, there was not a lot to celebrate in the receiving corps.

Again though, as with the New York Giants in part three, we need to remember that Washington was very banged up at the skill positions all season…

That is going to make it tough for any QB, let alone a rookie.

Target And Production Breakdown

Note: Target and production breakdown reflects only the games in which the QB and receiving options were on the field together to best assess the usage.

word image 136

word image 137

Of the four quarterbacks we looked at, Haskins targeted his top three targets the most heavily but this again could just be due to a lack of other options resulting from all the injuries. They were the only group to garner a >19% average target share.

McLaurin actually posted the highest overall market share for a top target and Sims is also the only top-three target we covered in the series who posted a 29% TD share (42.86%). There will certainly be regression but the season was encouraging nonetheless.

word image 138

word image 139

Images from the ADP Over Time Tool.

The suspect play from Haskins overall has reflected clearly as he is the only one of the four quarterbacks we are covering to not be on some sort of a rise in ADP – a far cry from where we would have thought he would be a year ago.

The addition of weapons in the draft like running back Antonio Gibson and wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden coupled with the additions to the offensive line could return some confidence but ultimately, Haskins will have to show advancement in his play. Trent Williams, one of the best offensive linemen in the game, was moved for a 2020 fifth-round selection and a 2021 third-rounder. This will not exactly help.

The weapons can only do so much but the end of the 2019 season was a very positive sign.

What To Expect In 2020…

McLaurin was a pleasant surprise in a solid WR class and we know now that Washington was wise in their selection. Look for the second year WR to continue to hold down that top option role. The second option will be the most interesting because Washington took a running back in the top-100 picks. A running back who has great size and speed that was highly effective in the passing game and very underutilized in the run game. They also selected Gandy-Golden in the fourth round to compete for that second or third role. AGG posted two fantastic seasons but at Liberty where the competition was not exactly tough.

screen shot 2020 05 28 at 11.06.35

Statistics from sports-reference.com.

As we can see in the above tweet, Washington may have not met with a ton of WRs pre-draft but only 12 of the other 31 teams met with more than the four Washington met with. The Redskins must have liked what they saw.

Gandy-Golden has size but speed is not his game. Kelvin Harmon, a 2019 rookie wideout, did not do anything until late in the season but was able to put together a seven-game stretch in which he received at least three targets per game and at least five targets in five of the seven games – that was a solid end to a disappointing rookie season as a whole when you account for the pre-draft expectations.

The two players are somewhat similar in ways and different in others but this seems like an odd selection. Washington needed to add receivers but added one similar to another already there. The two will likely be competing for the same role in the offense.

Let’s look at their combine performances, using DLF’s Player Combine Performance App.

screen shot 2020 05 28 at 11.13.10

screen shot 2020 05 28 at 11.13.26

Wrapping It Up

You may have a sour taste in your mouth when you scroll past Haskins’ name but it shouldn’t be that off-putting. The difference between the first part of his season and the end is night and day but if you just see the season totals, a sour taste is understandable. There is a wide receiver room full of young players and the backfield is loaded with potential. It is the “unlucky with injury” kind of potential but it is there – as well as the steady hand of Adrian Peterson.

Look for Haskins to keep the positive momentum rolling into 2020 and maybe just turn some heads. Thank you for reading and stay tuned for the final article in the series when we look at some of the first-year starters!

You can follow me on Twitter (@willson8tor) – as well as all the other great members of the DLF family – and on dlfstg02.dynastyleaguefootball.com, where there is no off-season.

david willsey