NBC Sports' Chris Simms' ranking of Dwayne Haskins at No. 39 on his Top 40 quarterback list for 2020 was a little jarring at first look. Not just because of where Haskins -- a starter -- ranked, but because of who landed in front of him.
Though Simms recently joined the Redskins Talk Podcast to elaborate on the factors that went into Haskins' placement, there were a few names on the list ahead of the Redskins quarterback that warranted a further explanation on what went it to those decisions.
The first is Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who checked in at No. 38. To sum the former No. 2 overall pick's current situation: it's not great. After a successful 2018 season, Trubisky regressed greatly in 2019. His statline of 3,138 passing yards, 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions doesn't seem all that bad. But, numerous poor decisions and missed throws derailed what was supposed to be a Super Bowl contending year for the Bears.
Trubisky's most recent body of work was so concerning that the passer who was primed to be the future of the franchise had his fifth-year option declined. The Bears also traded for Nick Foles in the offseason, showing Trubisky is no longer a lock to be the starter.
With that being said, how could a quarterback that has consistently struggled and lost control of the starting spot rank ahead of Haskins? To Simms, it all comes down to the larger body of work. The Redskins quarterback has had limited NFL action, while Trubisky has three years under his belt. Some of it has been ugly, but his work in 2018 was enough for Simms to slot him over the unproven Haskins.
"Right now I did give Mitchell Trubisky the edge because of experience," Simms said. "He has been a starting quarterback in the NFL for three years, he did lead a team to a 12-4 record and in that year they went to the playoffs and he led the team down the field in a clutch drive which ended up being the double doink field goal.”
Despite the current placement of the two, Simms doesn't expect Haskins to trail Trubisky for long. The Bears quarterback may have the advantage of experience for now, but Haskins is the one with more potential. His upside and ceiling is much higher, meaning he can easily make a large jump while Trubisky continues to tread water.
“Do I think Dwayne Haskins has more potential than a Mitchell Trrubisky? Without a doubt," Simms said. "I think Dwayne Haskins has the type of talent to be a top-10 quarterback in football. I don’t think that about Mitchell Trubisky.”
Another somewhat shocking revelation by Simms was that Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock was his No. 25 ranked quarterback. Lock, like Haskins, was a rookie in 2019 who didn't get a ton of game action. A second-round pick, he started just five games during the later portion of the season after Denver's first two options failed.
Though Lock and Haskins share a similar amount of NFL playing time, the separation in their rankings is due to Simms' overall expectations for their careers from what he's seen in both college and the pros. Despite Haskins going ahead of Lock in the draft, Simms has always seen Lock are a more elite option since his days at Missouri. Starting more seasons in college than Haskins, Simms felt that is Lock had left school after his junior year he would have been a clear-cut top pick.
“I had Drew Lock in front of Dwayne Haskins coming out in the draft," Simms said. "I really thought Drew Lock was a total first round talent.”
Their play in 2019 has only increased his belief that Lock has a slightly higher ceiling. During his five starts, he threw for 1020 yards and seven touchdowns to just three interceptions and went 4-1. It wasn't just the numbers that impressed Simms, though, as the analyst took notice to Lock's intangibles and how the Broncos offense worked with him in charge.
Showing off a rocket arm, an ability to throw from all angles and solid mechanics, Lock awoke a struggling offense in Denver. Though Haskins played well at times, it also looked as if the Redskins were keeping the offense basic for him during his first taste of NFL action. With Lock, it was the opposite.
“What I got to see in the regular season is a guy that did have command of the offense," Simms said. "In fact, I thought the offense actually expanded with him in the game. Like they took the training wheels off as compared to some of the guys before him.”
“They were special. I mean he made some plays where and had some games where he’s the driving force of the offense. They’re not trying to protect him.”
Lock's initial showing in the NFL not only put him ahead of Haskins currently in the mind of Simms but showed just how special he could be in the future as well. It's not to say Haskins can't be great, but the analyst just has a little more confidence in Lock.
“I just think he’s a little bit more advanced and experienced than Dwayne Haskins. And honestly, I do like his top-end talent a hair more too, guys.”
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