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Grading Dwayne Haskins Through 2 Preseason Games

Dwayne Haskins named Week 9 starter for Redskins

As most had hoped for, Dwayne Haskins had his debut in the burgundy and gold this preseason. Both of his first two games ended in losses, but that’s not what the preseason is about. It’s about funneling out the bad in search for the good. For the most part, Haskins has been on the good side, but more work is obviously still needed.

Fizzling Out Before the Fire Starts

In his first ever NFL game, Haskins showed no signs of hesitation. In fact, his first two completions were for a total of 50+ yards, right before an early fumble stalled the offense’s momentum. Haskins really got to show his true talents and sling the ball like he did at Ohio State. However, he didn’t find the end zone and ended up throwing two picks. The first interception was an obvious mental error that likely won’t happen again, but it did result in a pick-six. The second seemed to be a result of miscommunication and a poorly ran route. These didn’t seem to shake Haskins much, as he ultimately threw 8-14 for 117 passing yards. Though his QBR was rather low (44.9), he managed to move the ball downfield and make incredibly tough throws. Even some of his misses were stellar.

In the end, Haskins showed a decent ability to control the pace of the game despite a very bad offensive line. Though he was only sacked twice in six series’, he was brought to the ground many other times. It’s really important in the NFL to brace for hits and Haskins struggled with this early on. A lot of the blame goes on the offensive line, but he has to be more careful out there.

Given the circumstances, Haskins’ performance went as expected. He was raw and unpolished, but made a few throws that only a select few guys in the league can make. Subtracting his interceptions, it was actually a solid first game. However, it was clear that he hadn’t found his sea legs yet.

Overall Grade: B-

Bring Out the Cannon

After an up and down start to his NFL career, Dwayne Haskins showed up in his second game against the Bengals. With Colt McCoy out, he was given more playing time to get acclimated. This resulted in a pretty good performance, completing 7-14 passes for 114 yards and one touchdown.

In addition to his incredible deep accuracy, Haskins showed a lot of composure under tough circumstances. When faced with a blitz that he recognized, he’d shift the protection accordingly and audible out of the play if needed. This was rarely seen in their loss to the Browns the week before, so it seems like Haskins is starting to figure things out.

Despite a decent outing, Haskins still struggled with the same issues as the game before. He was sacked three times and knocked down a few others. The offensive line stepped up in comparison to the Cleveland game, but there was a noticeable drop-off when the backups came in. This made it much harder for Haskins to get in rhythms and he was ultimately brought down more than the previous game. However, he was much smarter with the football and didn’t throw an interception. He did fumble the ball one time, but that was a result of a blown assignment from veteran left tackle Donald Penn.

Overall Grade: B+

Putting Two and Two Together

When grading Haskins’ overall performance, a lot has to be taken into account. Was there clear progression from his first game? Yes. Did he make proper reads and throws? Sometimes. Is he ready to start in the NFL? Not quite.

Grading Dwayne Haskins through 2 preseason games
Image Courtesy of USA Today Sports.

In his first game, Haskins got the butterflies out. He made obvious mistakes, but also made some stellar throws. In his second game, he looked noticeably more comfortable. Instead of second-guessing himself, he read the field with more precision and confidence. Sure there were a few arid throws, but at the end of the day, he made the ones that counted. To get hit as much as he did through only two games and still show comfort in the pocket is truly incredible. Even when forced outside, Haskins often made the right play, whether it was running for a few yards or checking it down in front of him.

Through two games, he’s been given a ‘B-‘ and a ‘B+’. Logically, these add up to a flat grade of a ‘B’ and that seems about right for Dwayne Haskins thus far. The raw talent is certainly there, but he needs to show more growth in regards to the mental aspect of the game. Over time, he’ll feel even more comfortable and connect on the right throws. However, he’s just not there yet. He’s made a lot of mistakes: many that would prove costly in a real game. Once he gets a few more games under his belt, the league will truly see why they ‘done messed up’.

Final Grade: B


Featured Image Courtesy of NBC Sports Washington.

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