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.
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
- 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
- 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
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.
Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee officially taken off PUP list
The Jacksonville Jaguars have officially taken wide receiver Marqise Lee off of the physically unable to perform (PUP) list today. Head coach Doug Marrone announced the development at his pre-practice press conference today. Marrone says Lee will be practicing today.
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) August 17, 2019
Lee has not practiced or played since his preseason knee injury almost a year ago today. With this progression, the Jaguars will go into the season — at least for now — with their top receivers active and relatively healthy. If Lee is able to make any sort of contribution during the start of the season it will be a major success for the Jaguars.
Currently, the Jaguars have relied on newcomer Chris Conley along with veterans Dede Westbrook, and D.J. Chark along with other newcomers to make up for Lee’s absence. It is not yet known how this will affect the Jaguars roster come the cut-down day.
The Jaguars have not announced a corresponding move as of right now. The roster stands at 91 until they do so.
REPORT: Jaguars sign RB Elijah Hood, release QB Tanner Lee
Earlier today the Jacksonville Jaguars announced the signing of running back Elijah Hood. As a corresponding move, the Jaguars have released quarterback Tanner Lee.
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) August 17, 2019
Hood, 5’11” 230 pounds, was originally drafted in the seventh round by the Oakland Raiders. After bouncing around on the Raiders practice squad for the year, he was eventually waived following the 2017 season.
Hood most recently played the Carolina Panthers, however, his time with the Panthers was cut short in 2018 due to a torn ACL. He will get an opportunity to prove himself with the Jaguars and potentially live up to his collegiate career where he accumulated 2,580 yards and 29 touchdowns while at UNC.
With the injury to running back Alfred Blue (ankle) this past Thursday along with other running backs on the roster, the Jaguars needed to add depth at the position. Hood will get every opportunity to make the team, but his chances are rather slim.
Lee, a 2018 6th-round pick by the Jaguars was finally released as a corresponding move to signing Hood. Releasing Lee will not come to much of a shock for Jaguars fans. Lee has struggled throughout the offseason and in the preseason during both of his seasons with the Jaguars. This leaves backup quarterbacks Gardner Minshew and Alex McGough to battle it out in the Jaguars last two preseason games — although it looks like Minshew has the upper hand as of right now.
Jaguars defensive end Datone Jones has inside track on backup job
Earlier this offseason, the Jacksonville Jaguars opted to sign seven-year veteran Datone Jones as a means to create more competition and depth behind defensive end Calais Campbell. At the time, this was seen as more of a roster-filler type move, essentially to make sure the Jaguars have enough bodies during training camp. However, the situation has completely changed due to the way Jones has played during the offseason and into training camp.
Jones, 6’4″ 285 pounds, was originally drafted 26th overall in the 2013 NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers. Coming out of UCLA he was expected to make a major impact along the defensive line after accumulating a respectable 62 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks during his senior season. Since being drafted, Jones has bounced around the NFL playing for the Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers and, most recently, the Dallas Cowboys.
Jones was not able to make as much of an impact on the Packers’ 3-4 defensive front after bouncing around from the defensive line to — surprisingly — linebacker.
For a short time, Jones signed with the Minnesota Vikings shortly after his contract with the Packers ended and expressed the concern of a position switch during an interview with the Vikings update stating, “They didn’t tell me. I found out on NFL Network that they had moved me to outside linebacker, I kind of knew that I would have to make the adjustment or I wasn’t going to be there anymore. I wanted to come into a place where I felt most natural, where I could really showcase my ability, what I could really do.”
Having to make such a drastic change in his career path after being mildly successful — 73 tackles and nine sacks with the Packers — at another position impacted Jones. While Jones did accumulate the most pressures for the Packers during the 2016 season while playing outside linebacker, it still was not the appropriate position for him to play given his natural ability.
Now with the Jaguars, Jones is back along the defensive line and is thriving. With the backup strong-side defensive end position for the Jaguars being completely wide open, Jones has taken the opportunity afforded to him and could be apart of the first group of players coming onto the field for the normal starters.
The Jaguars have tried for a couple of years now to find a good backup behind Campbell. They drafted defensive tackle/end Taven Bryan in the first round just a year ago, however, he has switched to more of a fulltime role on the interior of the defense. Mostly a disappointment his first two seasons, defensive end Dawuane Smoot has also taken a backseat with the arrival of Jones, giving Jones the inside track to win the primary backup job.
Jones has taken that opportunity and has thrived. Able to come off the ball with speed and power, he has the ability to adequately stop the run along with getting to the quarterback. During the game on Thursday, Jones completely took over the Eagles offensive line. One play in particular from Thursday’s game stands out.
Jones lines up on the defensive edge and is unblocked, getting to the quarterback and knocking him (Cody Kessler) out of the game. These are the type of plays which illustrate why he has earned a spot on the Jaguars 53-man roster.
— Datone Jones AKA TONE_LOCC (@IAM_Dat_One) August 16, 2019
A rotation from normal starters Yannick Ngakoue, Marcell Dareus, Abry Jones, and Campbell to Josh Allen, Bryan, Eli Ankou, and Jones illustrates just how deep the Jaguars are along the defensive line.
This past week head coach Jaguars Doug Marrone was asked about the importance of the defensive end spot behind Campbell.
“I feel good about where we are with our D-Line, I do. In other words, I feel like we have good starters, and I feel like we have good depth. I think we have a lot of players there, guys that will probably be, if you look at the roster, I think that can potentially be the toughest. Who is nine, who is 10 if we keep 10, wherever that goes,” Marrone stated.
“Yan obviously looks great out there, but then all of a sudden [Dontavius] Russell, [Michael] Hughes, Datone Jones, I mean you have guys now, big V [Kalani Vakameilalo] is a big body in there. We have guys now that are in there that are pretty good that it’s going to be a tough call.”
A “tough call” that might have gotten tougher — or easier depending on how you look at it — with the performance Jones put on Thursday and throughout the offseason. Against the Eagles, Jones was credited with three tackles and a quarterback hit, however, it was his persistent pressure and pocket collapsing plays that set him apart from everyone else.
Shortly after the game, reporters spoke to Jones about his strong play against the Eagles. “I just wanted to go out there and execute and compete. I felt like I started off really slow the first preseason game and I felt like I owed it to my teammates to go out there today, execute and put my abilities on film,” Jones said.
“[I wanted to] let guys like Calais [Campbell], Marcell [Dareus] and Yannick [Ngakoue] know that I’m here to compete and I want to be in the lineup with those guys. I want to be here in Sacksonville, sacking quarterbacks. Preseason is all about coming out here and displaying and competing and just having fun with your brothers. Executing, you know.”
It is clear playing behind the Jaguars starting defensive line, and seeing the culture within that group has lit a fire under Jones for the better. If he can provide the same production he has done in the past, the Jaguars may have one of the deepest defensive line groups in the entire league.
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