The Raiders have kept a close eye on Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins. They like his ability as a smart, powerful passer, and are getting to know him during this pre-draft process.
They met with him at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine. Mike Mayock and other Raiders staff were at Ohio State’s Pro Day on Wednesday morning to gain insight on Haskins, top edge rusher Nick Bosa, though he didn’t work out, and several other draft-worthy Buckeyes.
Most thought Haskins had a good day. Mayock, in particular, came away impressed.
“He threw really well,” Mayock told NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco after Ohio State’s Pro Day. “I thought he put on a show. I thought his receivers put on a show. That’s typical for Ohio State. They did a great job.”
Mayock has seen tons of Haskins tape already, but he considers it important to watch signal callers throw in person.
“Sometimes you just want to see kids live,” Mayock said. “I especially believe that with quarterbacks. You can watch every throw a guy makes, but you have to see it come out of his hands. It was fun to watch Haskins today.”
It won’t be the last time before the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Raiders have scheduled a private workout with Haskins on Ohio State’s campus, according to ESPN. The Miami Dolphins will do the same, and he’s also set to meet Denver, Washington and the New York Giants down the road.
The Raiders are doing intensive quarterback evaluation, as Jon Gruden previously said they would. They got a good look at Missouri’s Drew Lock, Duke’s Daniel Jones and North Carolina State’s Ryan Finley – put a star by that name – while coaching the Senior Bowl.
They met with Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray at the combine, and offensive coordinator Greg Olson was at his pro day. A private workout with Murray is reportedly in the cards as well.
Putting Haskins under a microscope could be part of due diligence evaluating quarterbacks, but he could be available when the Raiders select at No. 4 overall unless there’s a super-early quarterback run as in years past.
It’s tough to tell exactly, especially during a time where teams put up smokescreens to cover true draft intentions.
The Raiders are expected to address their defensive line at No. 4 and again later in the NFL draft – that’s by far the team’s biggest need -- but nothing’s ever certain with Gruden making final decisions.
Gruden and Mayock have praised Derek Carr at most every turn, and at this stage the expectation remains that he’ll be the team’s starting quarterback in 2019. It’s a prove it year for Carr, who must show growth within Gruden’s scheme and production with Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams leading the receiver corps.
Haskins is an intriguing prospect with a cannon arm and fearless play. He had 4,831 passing yards (!) and 50 touchdowns (!) last season for Ohio State.
He should go early in the NFL draft and the Raiders are in a position where taking him is possible. It’s an option that simply can’t be ruled out right now, especially as the Raiders continue getting to know him better.
Mayock kept a close eye on several Buckeyes, including receivers Terry McLaurin – the Raiders coached him during his impressive Senior Bowl week -- and Parris Campbell. Campbell could be a first-or-second-round pick and pulled out of pro day work after suffering an injury.
“They did a great job. They fly,” Mayock said. “I felt bad for Parris Campbell pulled up and couldn’t go, but all of their wideouts really helped themselves throughout the process. McLaurin ran 4.35. Campbell ran 4.31 The (Johnnie) Dixon kid ran in the 4.4s. There’s a lot of speed.”