ASHBURN, Va. — Quarterback Dwayne Haskins watched from a bowling alley as one team after another passed on him. That is, until his hometown Washington Redskins ended his mini slide by picking him 15th overall. And then he delivered a message to those teams who turned elsewhere.
“I’m more motivated than ever, there’s a bigger chip on my shoulder, the league done messed up,” he said. “I’m right down the street so we’re going to do it right this time. So it’s crazy.”
The good part for the Redskins is they didn’t have to trade up to get Haskins after all. The Redskins drafted Haskins with their 15th overall pick in the first round, giving them a quarterback of the future.
There has long been a split opinion on Haskins within the Redskins’ organization, especially when it came to possibly trading up to acquire him. Haskins attended three years of high school at Bullis in suburban Maryland. Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s son is a sophomore football player at Bullis.
Haskins also becomes the first Big Ten quarterback to be drafted in the first round since Kerry Collins in 1995.
Dwayne Haskins expresses his thoughts on being picked by the Redskins at No. 15 and to be able to play close to home.
Haskins finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting and was a third team All-American. He threw for 4,831 yards, 50 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. In six games against ranked opponents, Haskins threw 20 touchdowns and six interceptions.
But he only started one year at Ohio State, leading to concern by evaluators about how soon he’d be able to play.
“I had one year in college and I feel like I showed all I could as far as one year,” Haskins said. “I broke a lot of records and did a lot of great things. I feel like I did a lot of stuff that showed that I can be able to translate to the NFL. Just being able to do what I did at a high level, it was the right choice for me to make that change to go to the pros.”
The Redskins don’t have a solidified quarterback situation. Alex Smith’s future remains in jeopardy because of the compound fracture suffered in November. They also have Case Keenum and Colt McCoy, but neither is considered a long-term starter.
However, their presence gives Haskins time to mature.
Haskins is the fourth quarterback Washington has chosen in the first round since 2002. None of them — Patrick Ramsey, Jason Campbell and Robert Griffin III — solved the position long-term.
Haskins does have a connection to Redskins. Though he said he had never met Snyder until going through the draft process, he did get to know his son, Daniel, while in school.
“It’s cool that his son went to my high school and I know his son,” Haskins said. “It’s just crazy how small this world is and how you meet somebody and that can change your life. That’s why I make sure I treat people the way I want to be treated, and I’ve got to do all I can to make sure that I leave a lasting impression on people. I think that’s [why] Mr. Snyder thought that I was the guy for this franchise. I’m just really excited for the future.”
And he’ll play in front of friends and family — with the hopes of proving others wrong.
“I mean, family’s everything … and all these people right here are right down the street,” Haskins said. “Just to think I started here in high school and I didn’t have a chance to go to Maryland now I’m about to come back to the area and we’re going to do it right this time.”
The Redskins weren’t done in the first round, acquiring the 26th overall pick from the Colts and using it to select Mississippi State defensive end Montez Sweat.