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2019 Jaguars NFL Draft Profile: Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins

Zach Goodall

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Nov 24, 2018; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) throws a touchdown pass during the fourth quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

With the quarterback position being the Jacksonville Jaguars most pressing and desperate need this offseason, you can expect plenty of reports, speculation, and scouting analysis revolving around college quarterback prospects here at Locked On Jaguars.

Profiles on Duke QB Daniel Jones and West Virginia QB Will Grier have already been published, and now we move on to a signal-caller who is widely speculated as a potential top-10 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

The redshirt sophomore doesn’t quite fit the Parcells threshold that Jaguars EVP of Football Operations tends to follow when scouting QBs, but Haskins has enough potential to offer that he’s worth breaking the Parcells’ mold. Despite being a r-So., Haskins is currently 21 years old and will turn 22 the week after the 2019 NFL Draft (May 3rd). The single-year starter has compiled 11 wins, including over the 4th ranked Michigan, 9th ranked Penn State, and 15th ranked TCU. In those three games, Haskins went 66-108 (61.1%) for 1010 yards, 11 touchdowns and only one interception.

In his first year as a starter, the 6-3, 220 lb Haskins has already broken Big 10 records. He stands at 4081 passing yards (and counting!) and 42 passing touchdowns (and counting, too!): Both are records he set against the Michigan Wolverines.

The Jaguars have certainly gotten to know Haskins in 2018. According to a mix of sources and reports, the Jaguars have attended four Ohio State games and a practice this season, watching Haskins put on a clinic live on numerous occasions.

But we know scouting is more than looking at the box score. Haskins has certainly shown some negative attributes – what QB prospects haven’t? However, a lot of the flaws Haskins has shown this year came at the start of his tenure as starter, and he’s shown rapid, excellent growth throughout the season in the original areas of concern. On top of the “rookie jitters”, Haskins has played this well amidst enormous controversies revolving around the Ohio State football program, which are certainly a dark cloud that could easily distract any football program.

Haskins the traits that NFL folks drool over are there, which can be seen throughout his 2018 film. Lets’s dive in to some, coming from his games against Oregon State, TCU, Penn State, Maryland, and Michigan.

West Coast fit

A quick slant, released with zip on the top of the receiver’s route and accurately placed in the WR’s stride to allow yards after the catch?

Yeah, that’s a West-Coast offense throw. That’s what the Jaguars do.

Even if the Jaguars hire their offensive coordinator this offseason from outside of the organization, don’t expect major changes immediately to the offensive philosophy. There are pieces in place that fit power-run and WCO that the Jaguars can’t get rid of, namely Leonard Fournette and Dede Westbrook. It would be tough to completely reshape the offense’s identity unless they gutted the roster completely on offense, so expect a hire that maintains similar ideology but has a plan to sprinkle in more concepts, such as vertical passing, over time.

Haskins has made timing throws like this consistently throughout the 2018 season, hitting receiver accurately and in stride with a quick release and velocity to get the ball in the WR’s hands quickly.

This ball covers some ground, but it comes out as the receiver releases across the middle towards the right sideline and is placed low and away from the defender being able to make a play on it,  and most importantly the receiver never slows down.

Simply put: This is a clutch, ballsy throw that you don’t normally seeing a first-year college starter making, much less confidently releasing without hesitation. Haskins tosses this pass on top of his one-step drop in the gun, and puts it right on top of the pylon away from the press-man cornerback on his receiver. Considering Haskins can make this throw, it’s hard to doubt his ability to make any short distance throw accurately. Golden.

Haskins releases this pass on top of his three-step drop with no hesitation, just s the receiver breaks on the top of his route. The ball has perfect zip, which is a constant in Haskins’ game, and gives the nickel cornerback no time to react after eyeing the running back in the flats. The receiver possesses the ball with about three ards of separation from the nearest enclosing defender, and is able to move himself into an additional five yards after the catch. The bread n’ butter of the WCO.

Growth against pressure

At the beginning of his time as Ohio State’s starting QB, Haskins didn’t have a great feel for pressure. He’d either skim through reads a little too early and/or choose to escape the pocket before options opened up, or would make errant throws in result of pressure.

Above, in Week 3, Haskins wasn’t quite “pressured” by pass rush standards, but if he waited to release the ball any longer he definitely would have been. At the same time, Haskins dismissed the need for better touch on this ball with an enclosing EDGE defender on a blitz and in result, the pass rusher was able to bat away what should have been a walk-in score on a throw to the flats. All this ball needed was another half a foot of air under it and the special teams unit would’ve made their way onto the field for the extra point.

In Week 5, Haskins and Co. were flustered by Penn State’s pass rush, and it led Haskins to panicking into decisions. It didn’t lead to turnovers, luckily, as his only interception came on a well-placed pass that bounced upwards out of his receivers hands and into a nearby defenders. But, in the above play, Haskins is forced to abandon the pocket from interior pressure (two angles). That’s fine and dandy, but Haskins escapes contact and has tons of room to work with to patiently throw to an unrushed read, and instead he panics into a tightly-covered middle of the field throw that sails incomplete.

However, here comes the previously mentioned growth. Just last week against Michigan, Haskins flashed comfort against pressure on a more consistent basis, trusting his reads and side-stepping his way into this throw to the middle of the field, with a quick rush coming from the right interior. Haskins moves in sync with the linebackers biting on the underneath game, specifically the crosser, which opened up the middle of the field that Haskins struck like an arrow in archery despite the enclosing pressure from his right and a block happening right in front of him.

Before putting his mobility on display, Haskins senses pressure immediately off of the right edge but still completes a half-field progression before sliding through the gap. Before crossing the line of scrimmage, Haskins keeps his eyes downfield to monitor anything opening on his roll-side before finally taking off. The maturity on this play is much improved from his earlier games, and without seeing these recent games, it’d be hard to expect a first-year starter to have grown this quickly – but here we are.

Later on, there will be a section with Haskins’ “wow-you” type of plays, and while this one deserves to be in that category, it’s one of his recent great plays against pressure. Once again, Haskins doesn’t shake from anticipated pressure coming off of his right side and continues to scan the field before taking advantage of a running lane to step up into the pocket. However, that lane begins to close as Haskins is on the move, which he simultaneously picks up on while noticing a WR opening up on the sideline. He delivers a front-foot laser to his receiver, which he catches and taps two feet down. However, the receiver previously stepped out of bounds on his route, negating the play, but that doesn’t negate the impressive play Haskins put together while, at the same time, displaying pocket maturity.

Room to grow: Consistent deep-ball footing and full-field progressions

When Haskins gets all of his pressure onto his front foot while heaving a deep pass, he normally puts the ball on the money, as seen above…

…However, there are inconsistencies with Haskins’ footing on deep balls.

On occasion, Haskins will leave too much pressure on his back foot through his windup while going deep, which takes juice off of the ball to push it deep and in stride. Now, this is a fixable issue and far from a concern that should drop Haskins down draft boards. At the same time, nailing down his front foot when shooting his cannon will only broaden his ability to be a complete quarterback. Because when Haskins is “on it” while delivering a deep ball, it looks something like this:

Perfect footing, perfect placement on the deep wheel : 28 air yards, 36 yard touchown. Piece of cake.

Haskins can make very impressive deep throws, he just needs to improve his consistency in this area. Some sound logic that can breed hope for Haskins’ ability to grow in this area: Ohio State doesn’t run a ton of vertical passing concepts, and focuses a lot more on short to intermediate throws with the occasional deep throw and play-action, so Haskins’ experience with going deep isn’t large. But considering the flashes he has shown when doing so, there’s a lot to be inspired by. With the right QB coach, this fine-tuning should be pretty easy to develop Haskins’ game.

Another aspect of Haskins’ game that he could grow in is full-field progressions. Ohio State runs a lot of half-field primary reads in their passing game, which Haskins has proven he can handle. However, although he does make full-field reads from time to time, he could use more experience in that field. That will just take time to pick up in whatever offense he goes to in the NFL, and he can’t be blamed for not getting many called at Ohio State. But, this is certainly something to consider early in his NFL career.

“Wow-you” plays

The placement Haskins puts on a lot of his passes is absolutely fantastic. Lofting this over the slightly underneath safety, this ball is kept out of reach of the draping #30… the drop from the WR sucks, no doubt, but this is a legitimate NFL throw that scouts drool over.

Once again: Placement, timing, accuracy, zip… the whole nine yards while driving the field into field goal range, down a point in the two-minute drill. ‘Nuff said.

Play-action, Haskins drops like a left-handed passer in which his body is open completely to the left. He flips his hips and body smoothly to return to his strong side, plants his foot to step up slightly to the right and away from double containing-pressure, and Haskins delivers a ball across his body without every setting his feet to the left-middle of the field. This ball has enough zip to prevent the down-coming safety from jumping it, and considering Haskins threw this off his back foot, across his body, with no set base, you can’t help but be impressed. His ability to put juice on the ball, even in unorthodox situations, is uncanny.

Eye maturity to manipulate defenders. Haskins keeps his eyes on the outside-slot receiver post, keeping the safety honest rather than jumping on the crosser from the outside WR. The safety breaks outside, and it’s game over – Haskins hits the crosser in stride and it goes for six points.

Eye maturity times two, this time being even more impressive than the last. Haskins keeps his eyes on the slot seam just inside of the numbers, at the time out of the mid-field safeties zone and in the boundary cornerback’s third. When the nickel and outside cornerbacks dedicate themselves to the seam from Haskins’ eye manipulation, the outside curl becomes wide open and Haskins gets the ball out on the very top of the route. Everything happens so quick that the dropping linebacker turns around to get a clue of what’s happening and doesn’t even realize the ball is in the outside WR’s hands. All in all, Haskins manipulates the entire top third zone and takes advantage, gaining 18 yards on what could have been a simple short curl.

Defensive holding on the top receiver takes away what would have been one of the more impressive throws Haskins has made all year. A deep fade route from the 14 yard line, Haskins puts insane touch on this pass with fantastic zip and places this ball just where it needed to be if the receiver was able to separate and not held up at the 11 yard line. This would have been a touchdown. Damn shame.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Short/intermediate accuracy and velocity is top notch
  • Sense of pressure improved tremendously over 12 game stretch
  • Processes and scans half-field reads well
  • Mobile and can take a hit
  • Short/intermediate touch throws are very consistent
  • Times drops/release with receiver route breaks well for a first-year starter
  • Eye discipline and manipulation is very advanced

Cons

  • Inconsistent footing when throwing deep
  • Sometimes reluctant to scramble when it’s best to run
  • Can try to hard to play “hero-ball” in less than ideal situations
  • Lacks experience with full-field progressions
  • One-year starter

Conclusion

Is Dwayne Haskins the typical Tom Coughlin type of QB prospect, based on the Parcells’ QB rules? No, he doesn’t meet most of the requirements as a one-year starter and redshirt sopohmore. But, Haskins possesses the tools and has grown as a quarterback so much during his first year as a starter that make him worth abandoning the Parcells’ method of scouting.

It all depends on who declares in this upcoming draft at the QB position, but there’s a real solid chance that Haskins will be available when the Jaguars are on the clock in the first round. Ideally, the team will have a bridge QB in place (perhaps Cody Kessler) who can start for the year or until Haskins is ready to debut as he takes more time to develop as a complete quarterback. And considering his ability to grow throuhgout just one season as he’s shown, he should be able to step in and perform very well when the time is right.

If Haskins were forced to start right out of the gate, the Jaguars could keep the identical offensive philosophy they have now with emphasis on power-running and West Coast passing concepts – a scheme Haskins would be incredibly comfortable throwing in. Over time, as Haskins matures at the NFL level, the Jaguars could begin to incorporate vertical passing concepts and more advanced aspects of their playbook at Haskins’ pace.

Pull the trigger, Jacksonville. With a solid floor and a very, very high ceiling, Dwayne Haskins can be the franchise QB the Jaguars have been looking for.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. niall

    December 5, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    great article, and idegaf about the Jaguars, just wanted to see some Haskins content

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars Activate Tackle Josh Wells, Release Niles Paul from IR

Demetrius Harvey

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Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars have made a couple more roster moves this Friday after releasing Strong Safety Barry Church. The Jaguars have finally activated Tackle Josh Wells. Wells was placed on short-term injured reserve after week five with a groin injury.

This move comes at an opportune time as the Jaguars will be without Right Tackle Jermey Parnell. Wells will more than likely start at Right Tackle this week against the Redskins.

The Jaguars have also released Niles Paul from injured reserve, signed Lyndon Johnson from the teams practice squad, and placed OL Josh Walker on injured reserve.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars vs. Redskins: Friday Injury Report, Parnell Out, Lambo in Doubt

Demetrius Harvey

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Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars and the Washington Redskins have released their Friday final status/injury report of the week ahead of their week fifteen matchup at TIAA Bank Field. For the Jaguars, they will be without Jermey Parnell, D.J. Chark, and Josh Walker.

All three players are listed as out with various injuries. The Jaguars have a move they could potentially make in activating Tackle Josh Wells who has been practicing the past couple of weeks. D.J. Chark will miss his fourth consecutive game making his rookie season disappointing in the end, unfortunately.

The other major area of concern is kicker Josh Lambo being listed as Questionable. A little later in the day, the Jaguars signed Kicker Kai Forbath which suggests he will probably be out this Sunday against the Redkins. We will revisit this on Sunday when the inactive players are released.

Below are both teams status reports:

JAGUARS:

WR D.J. Chark Jr. (Quadricep): Out

RT Jermey Parnell (Knee): Out

OL Josh Walker (Ankle): Out

LB Lerentee McCray (Illness): Questionable

K Josh Lambo (Right Groin): Questionable

REDSKINS:

LB Ryan Anderson (Hamstring): Out

TE Jordan Reed (Ankle/Foot): Out

WR Josh Doctson (Concussion): Questionable

DE Matt Ioannidis (Shin): Questionable

OT Ty Neskhe (Knee): Questionable

OT Mogan Moses (Ankle): Questionable

LS Nick Sundberg (Back): Questionable

S Monte Nicholson (Illness): Questionable

RB Chris Thompson (Illness): Questionable

The Redskins have a much more lengthy status report than the Jaguars which is remarkable given how the Jaguars injuries have gone this season. Washington will be without at least a couple of starters including their starting Linebacker and Tight End. They also more than likely will be without a starting wide receiver in Josh Doctson.

Their Long Snapper Nick Sundberg has a high possibility of missing the game this Sunday as well because of a back injury. They have brought in a few long snappers to work out in the event he is not able to go.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars sign Kicker Kai Forbath in Wake of Josh Lambo Injury

Demetrius Harvey

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Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars have made a roster move in wake of the Josh Lambo right-groin injury. They have signed former Redskins and Vikings Kicker Kai Forbath. Forbath has a career FG% of 85.9% which is at the very least respectable in a league where kickers seem to be missing routine kicks daily now.

With Lambo potentially out the Jaguars were forced into a move. This could always be more of a cautionary move in the case Lambo does not play, but generally speaking, if a team signs a kicker near the end of the week it is not a good sign. We will see what happens when the last injury report comes out.

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