Dwayne Haskins declared for the draft this week and by doing so pretty much guaranteed he’ll be the first quarterback selected in the 2019 NFL Draft. The Ohio State standout finished his final season in Columbus with 50 touchdowns and just 8 interceptions, and even if Justin Herbert didn’t decide to return to Oregon for his senior season, there’s a good case that Haskins still would’ve been the first franchise quarterback off the board.
In our latest mock draft, we had Haskins going fifth-overall after the Jaguars traded up two spots to grab him — just one spot ahead of the Giants, who you could argue desperately need a quarterback too. And when Haskins was apprised of this last month by the Chicago Tribune‘s Teddy Greenstein (via PFT), and told it would be a good landing spot for him, here’s what he said: “I’m hoping for that too.”
By Monday night, as Clemson was putting the finishing touches to their convincing National Championship win over Alabama, Haskins tweeted this:
Now the question becomes: Do the Giants make a play for Haskins? General manager David Gettleman said last week the team is still in the “evaluation process” and while he wouldn’t commit to Eli Manning for 2019 he did say the 38-year-old quarterback “can still make NFL throws — he’s still got it.”
But if the Giants aren’t interested, plenty of other teams will be, starting with the Jaguars (No. 7 pick), Broncos (No. 10) and Dolphins (No. 13). And since the teams picking in the top 5 don’t need a franchise quarterback (Cardinals, 49ers, Jets, Raiders, Buccaneers), there could be a lot of movement at the top of the draft board between now and late April. A year ago, the Bills and Jets moved up to get Josh Allen and Sam Darnold, respectively. Haskins is a better prospect than Allen at this stage of his career, and probably on par with Darnold. New York took Darnold third overall and Buffalo took Allen four spots later.
And if teams fall in love with Haskins — and it’ll be hard not to based on his 2018 season — he’ll be one of the first players taken.
“He is a leader and understands his role. He is a distributor. He is a servant. Everybody wins and looks good together,” Haskins’ mother, Tamara, told Greenstein last month.
Dwayne Sr. added: “He is an alpha male of alpha males. He doesn’t overwhelm you or try to manipulate you to believe in what he does. He will say two or three words and then he goes out and represents it. Then you follow him and you want to respond to him.
“He doesn’t need to kick over a Gatorade cooler. Doesn’t need to throw his helmet down. If you watch his mannerisms when he quarterbacks, it’s with confidence. He has been around it. He has NFL friends that mentor him. He is not your average college football player. He does not get overwhelmed. He is emotionally intelligent. He is built for this moment.”