There’s a phrase in the NFL that rings especially true today, as many believe that the league stands for ‘Not For Long’. On Wednesday, Washington head coach Ron Rivera announced that quarterback Kyle Allen would be the starter moving forward. As a result, Dwayne Haskins, the team’s first round pick from the 2019 NFL Draft, was moved from first to third on the depth chart. Whether Washington has a long-term starting quarterback on their roster, or if they’ll be looking for one in the 2021 NFL Draft, one thing remains clear – the organization must find a franchise quarterback. They must find some stability at the position.
One has to wonder how Washington got here. What did they see in Dwayne Haskins that they didn’t like? What must he do moving forward to return as a starting quarterback, whether that’s for Washington or not remains unknown. Let’s breakdown this decision below.
How We Got Here
Following the J.T. Barrett era in Columbus, Dwayne Haskins emerged as the starter for Ohio State, beating out Joe Burrow in 2018. Despite a loss to Purdue, Haskins led the Buckeyes to a 13-1 record, including a Big Ten Championship and win in the Rose Bowl. After finishing third in the Heisman Trophy voting, Haskins announced that he would declare for the 2019 NFL Draft.
Kyler Murray, the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner, was taken first overall by the Arizona Cardinals, who then sent QB Josh Rosen to the Miami Dolphins – more on that one later. Dwayne Haskins was considered by most to be the second-best quarterback in the NFL Draft, and was an option for the New York Giants at 6th overall. However, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman elected to draft Duke QB Daniel Jones as the eventual replacement for Eli Manning. Washington held the 15th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, following a gruesome injury to Alex Smith.
Dwayne Haskins’ Time In Washington
In 2019, Washington began the season with Case Keenum as their starting quarterback. Following a poor performance, head coach Jay Gruden was fired. Needless to say, Dwayne Haskins was eventually named the starter for Washington following a carousel of quarterbacks that included Case Keenum and Colt McCoy. Haskins finished the season with seven starts, in which he finished with a record of 2-5, a 7-7 touchdown-to-interception ratio, and a 58.6& completion percentage.
This offseason, Ron Rivera was announced as the head coach of the Washington Football Team. As the starter, Dwayne Hasksins started the season with a 1-3 record. Additionally, he has a 4-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio and a 60.9% percentage, mostly boosted by a strong performance against the Baltimore Ravens. However, Haskins through three interceptions against the Cleveland Browns, which had to worry Washington, prompting Rivera to make a statement that Haskins has to improve in protecting the football.
What Happens Next?
Head coach Ron Rivera announced that Kyle Allen would be the starter moving forward. More so, Dwayne Haskins was demoted to third on the depth chart. Alex Smith, having recovered from a leg injury that saw an extended rehab process and numerous surgeries, would be the backup to Allen. While many might look at this at the franchise moving backwards, I do believe that this is a positive for Dwayne Haskins.
With pressure off of Haskins, he’ll now be able to take a step back and learn from Alex Smith. To go a step further, Smith will have more time to mentor Haskins and aid in his development. Haskins was a redshirt sophomore at Ohio State, so he’s still relatively young. With the pressure off Haskins, he should have more time to spend with Alex Smith in Washington’s quarterback room.
Does Washington Draft A Quarterback?
The short answer here is yes. However, I don’t know if it happens as soon as the 2021 NFL Draft. The Washington Football Team is in a perfect position to draft a quarterback in the first round. However, the franchise does have more pressing needs. Rather, I think it’s likely that we see them move to Alex Smith later this season if Allen struggles.
As for Dwayne Haskins, I find it unlikely that he sees the field for Washington anytime soon. Rather, I find it more likely that we see Haskins back on the field in 2021. Although, I’m not sold on the quarterback remaining in Washington. With Haskins being demoted to third on the depth chart, I do believe that a trade is likely imminent.