NFL Network host Scott Hanson says Dwayne Haskins had fewer ‘keys to the franchise' moments than other rookie QBs


As the NFL draft gets closer and closer, the debate around Dwayne Haskins seemingly gets louder and louder. 

NFL Network host Scott Hanson was the lastest to weigh in on the young quarterback, saying Haskins fell behind other rookie passers and that the Redskins should seriously consider their options with the No. 2 overall pick.

"I think there are more questions about him after his rookie season than maybe any of the other highly drafted rookie quarterbacks," Hanson told JP Finlay on the Redskins Talk podcast. "I still think the 'Skins will end up going [with] Chase Young at two. But I gotta think that there is — or at least was — temptation to say 'We don't necessarily know if we have our franchise quarterback.'" 


Hanson isn't alone in that assessment of Haskins. ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay both said that the Redskins should take Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with the No. 2 overall pick if he's healthy. 

As the host of the NFL's Network's RedZone channel, which takes viewers around the league's scoring opportunities, highlights and key plays on gameday, Hanson didn't see enough of those marquee moments from Haskins to warrant a positive outlook after year one. Instead, he saw Haskins fall behind the other first-round quarterbacks in his draft class. 

"What you do expect is throws, moments, instincts displayed [and] drives that a rookie quarterback takes on where you're like 'That's it. That's it right there — why this guy was drafted in the first round, why they could give the keys to the franchise to this guy,'" Hanson said. "Those moments were fewer for Dwayne Haskins than they were for Kyler Murray or Daniel Jones or the other quarterbacks that were drafted to be franchise quarterbacks."

Murray, the No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft, won the league's Offensive Rookie of the Year after compiling 3,722 yards and 20 touchdowns through the air, while also rushing for 544 yards and four scores. 

Jones, meanwhile, silenced critics and provided hope to Giants fans with occasional big plays and breakout performances such as a dazzling display in the comeback win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in his first career start. Even Gardner Minshew, a sixth-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars, showed more glimpses than Haskins did in year one.

Haskins didn't enjoy those same success stories, at least not initially. The Ohio State product threw seven interceptions against just three touchdowns over his first seven appearances, including a three-turnover showing in his debut. But Haskins showed improvement late in the season, throwing for 394 yards and four touchdowns while completing 72 percent of his passes in his final six-plus quarters played before an ankle injury ended his season. 

Entering his second professional season, Haskins will need to prove himself to a new coaching staff. The team's new head coach Ron Rivera isn't married to Haskins' success; he inherited the quarterback from the previous regime. 

"[I'm] not saying it's over with, not saying it's done with," Hanson said. "It sounds like Ron Rivera wants to go forward, at least for one more season, with Dwayne. But there is a lot to prove in year two."

Still, Hanson believes Haskins will be the starting quarterback when the team takes the field in Week 1. But there is the presence of Kyle Allen, who Rivera trusts from their time together in Carolina, meaning there could be a short leash if things go south for Haskins.

"I think Dwayne will be the starter Week 1. I think they want to go forward with Dwayne as far as they can go," Hanson said. "But if and when the speedbumps come, I think Kyle will be able to take over — maybe get a couple of wins for the team — and if that has to happen during the season, then Dwayne Haskins is probably two and done in D.C."

There are pieces in place for the team to have a good offense, Hanson says. But it all revolves around the quarterback, and Haskins has to seize his opportunity to prove he's the guy to propel that talent to its full potential.

"The Redskins should be building with [Derrius] Guice, [Terry] McLaurin — you've got pieces to a potentially really good offense," Hanson said. "We need to see growth, and [the] second year is the biggest leap for an NFL quarterback, we all know that. Haskins has got to step up."

With the uncertainty surrounding Haskins' ability, analysts feel the Redskins should weigh their options with the second overall pick. While Kiper and McShay think the right move is drafting a quarterback in the first round for the second straight year, others see Young as the clear-cut best talent in the draft and a player that the team can't pass on. And then there are those who see that second pick as a tradable asset to dangle in hopes of acquiring a slew of picks to address more of the team's holes.

Hanson believes Young will ultimately be the selection when the Redskins are on the clock on April 23, creating a ferocious defensive front with the pass rusher joining the likes of Jonathan Allen, Matt Ioannidis, Ryan Kerrigan, Daron Payne and Montez Sweat.

"Assuming it is Chase Young, woooo, that defensive front next year," Hanson exclaimed. "Look out if you're Carson Wentz and Daniel Jones and Dak Prescott [and] the other quarterbacks that the 'Skins are going to face."

There is a scenario where Hanson believes the Redskins should consider trading down. If Miami is enamored enough with Tagovailoa or another signal-caller that it's willing to trade large chunks of its capital, which includes three first-round picks this year, then Hanson says Washington should listen and try to work the Dolphins for every pick they can get.

"If I'm Washington, I hold them to the fire and say 'We need multiple first-round picks in return, we need a couple of twos and threes sprinkled in there," Hanson said. "I think Miami and Washington should have the phone lines open on draft night, and that's about the only situation I could see them moving."

But with that scenario, there's also a sacrifice. If the Redskins swapped picks with the Dolphins, they would almost assuredly be giving up the possibility of adding Young. That decision would draw the derision of fans, but Hanson said it could also linger on the franchise for a long time.

"If you trade down, you are saying goodbye to Chase Young," Hanson said. "And that could haunt the franchise for a while, even if they did get a couple of other first-round draft picks."

Despite all the speculation around Haskins, the incoming quarterbacks in this year's draft class and the options with the second overall pick, Hanson believes Young will be the pick.

But there is still time for the Redskins to become fixated on Tagovailoa — and his workout videos where he's displaying the health that his doctors say he has — as a replacement for Haskins in the new Rivera-led era.

"I think it's going to be Chase Young," Hanson said. "Or possibly still a shocker and maybe they still go [with] Tagovailoa if somehow in the next two, three weeks they fall in love with him."

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