Football Team

Brian Billick says Haskins is a bigger bust than Russell, Leaf

Football Team

Washington pulled the plug on Dwayne Haskins permanently after almost 20 months since drafting him 15th overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, a day after one of the worst quarterback performances for Washington in recent years. 

Haskins won three of the 10 games he started, throwing for two more interceptions (14) than touchdowns (12) during him time with the Burgundy and Gold. What he showed ultimately wasn't enough.

Former Ravens coach and current NFL Network analyst Brian Billick took it a step further Monday, calling Haskins the worst bust ever for a first-round draft pick.

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This is clearly going to go down as the worst first-round bust," Billick said. "I mean, even JaMarcus Russell, Ryan Leaf, it took a little while, it took a couple years to say, 'Yeah, okay, these guys can't play.' For Washington to move this quickly, and I think they're doing the right thing and I think it's in his best interest as well, he needs to get out of this area, some place where he's not going to carry the expectations of a first-round quarterback."

Historically speaking, it's pretty telling for Washington to pull the plug and completely sever ties with Haskins in fewer games than either the Raiders or Chargers did for notorious busts like Russell and Leaf. Haskins played in 16 total games, while Russell and Leaf played in 31 and 25 games, respectively.

RELATED: A timeline of Dwayne Haskins' short tenure in Washington

While Russell's reign with the Raiders started as him being the No. 1 pick before ending prematurely after a gluttonous offseason, Leaf's problems were much more similar to Haskins. The No. 2 overall pick in 1998 even said as much

 

"Listen, this is exactly what you think it is. Utter ignorance. There’s something about the brain chemistry of an elite athlete that has everything & feels slighted & hurt," Leaf wrote on Twitter last week in response to Haskins' COVID-19 protocol violation. "You have zero impulse control, no one will tell me what I cannot do. I swear it’s like looking in a mirror!"

Even so, there have been other QBs to have had shorter stints in a starting role. Just a year before Haskins was drafted in 2019, Arizona drafted Josh Rosen only for him to get benched after just one season. It may not end that way for the former Buckeye.

Still, aged just 23, Haskins has time to turn it around. 

"He's still a very young man, he only had the one year at Ohio State. He's been on a team with a coaching change, a system change," Billick said. "Now, I don't want to make any excuses for him because clearly there was no progress in how he played. The decision-making process, forget about the bad decisions off the field, he wasn't improving on the field. Now you can say it's because it's a new system, he's been in and out of the lineup, that if you wanted to, you could say, 'Yeah, this guy has the physical skills, there's no question about that.'"