CLEVELAND -- Dwayne Haskins made his rookie debut for the Redskins on Thursday night, and the performance was indicative of a player with all the physical tools but a lot to learn.
Case Keenum came out of the game after the first quarter and that opened the door for the 15th overall pick. Haskins' first play from scrimmage was dazzling, as he smoothly ran a bootleg to the right side of the line and threw a crisp ball downfield to receiver Darvin Kidsy.
Immediately following that throw, however, Haskins ran into the procedural issues that have plagued him during training camp. His offensive line clearly wasn't on the same page for the snap count, and half the group jumped before the center snapped the ball. From there, Haskins again threw a pretty pass downfield to Kidsy, but the wideout fumbled after the catch. There is some question about if Haskins' pass would have been intercepted against starting-caliber defenders, as he threw the ball late and down the sideline, usually a troubling combination. That said, he displayed serious arm strength to get the pass there.
On his next play, the ugly stuff showed up. Haskins tried to drop a dime to Byron Marshall on a wheel route, but the whole stadium saw it coming. Browns LB Mack Wilson picked it off and ran it back for a touchdown. To make matters worse, Haskins tried to tackle Wilson before the goalline and got stiff-armed and run over. On the next series, Haskins got blasted by a Browns defender that came clean up the middle of the offensive line. He fumbled, and it looked like another Browns touchdown, but the referees ruled that Haskins was down before the ball came out.
Just before halftime, Haskins had a decent drive going for the Redskins before he threw another interception. This time it came on a ball that sailed down the middle of the field.
After halftime, Haskins again got the call for Washington. He put together a 14-play drive that resulted in a field goal and chewed up nearly seven minutes of clock. On numerous snaps, Haskins showed athleticism and an ability to move inside and outside of the pocket. During the NFL Scouting Combine back in March, Haskins clocked a slow 40-yard dash and some scouts said he wouldn't show quick enough feet for the NFL. That myth seemed dispelled in just his first NFL action.
He got one more drive, and it went three-and-out.
In all, Haskins showed much of the same uneven performances Redskins fans have seen throughout training camp in Richmond. He has elite arm talent, but is inconsistent and unsure at times at the line of scrimmage.
It wasn't an impressive outing from Haskins. It was quite ugly at times. There were a few throws that showed why the front office is so excited about his future though.
More than anything, Thursday night showed that Haskins is not ready for regular-season NFL action. He's third on the Redskins QB depth chart, and it's the right spot.
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