ESPN suggests Steelers should trade for QB Dwayne Haskins before the deadline

The Steelers are going to have some rebuilding to do when Ben Roethlisberger retires. Here’s why ESPN believes Pittsburgh should trade for QB Dwayne Haskins.

The NFL trade deadline is quickly approaching and Dwayne Haskins is one of the key players who could be dealt before November 3rd. The former Ohio State star quarterback was taken with the 15th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, but Ron Rivera and The Washington Football Team are apparently ready to give up on him after just one season. The Steelers, meanwhile, could be in the market for a quarterback with an aging Ben Roethlisberger who could potentially play his last season in 2021.

Washington didn’t have Rivera when the organization drafted Haskins in April of last year, but the team certainly seems poised to be in a position to draft another quarterback high in 2021. Surprisingly, Washington is leaving the team in the hands of Kyle Allen – meaning the price to obtain Haskins via trade should be relatively cheap.

Recently, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell wrote an article breaking down 13 potential trade proposals before the November 3rd deadline. He thought that Haskins and the Steelers would make a great fit. Here’s some of what Barwell had to say:

It’s fair to say that Haskins is on the outs in Washington, given that Ron Rivera just benched the 2019 first-round pick for Kyle Allen… Haskins realistically needs time to go develop behind an established quarterback, which is why the Steelers could make sense. Ben Roethlisberger looks solid in his age-38 season, but he is close to the end of his career. Mason Rudolph showed little filling in for Roethlisberger last season, and he is about to enter the final year of his rookie deal. Layne, a third-rounder in 2019, is at the bottom of a deep cornerback room in Pittsburgh and hasn’t played a single defensive snap as a pro. Layne and a fourth-round pick might not seem like much value for a 2019 first-rounder, but Washington hasn’t done much to make Haskins look valuable.

Would Dwyane Haskins be worth be worth the cost for the Steelers?

According to the article, Barnwell believes Haskins could be had for cornerback Justin Layne and a 4th-round draft choice in 2021. While this may seem relatively steep for a player who was recently benched for a quarterback who graded out as one of the worst in the league in 2020, it’s important to remember that Haskins is still very early into his NFL career.

In fact, Haskins turned just 23 years old in May, and he has been commanding one of the league’s least-talented offenses. It’s also important to remember that Haskins was a top-15 draft choice just over a year ago, and he was thoroughly productive at one of the best programs in the nation.

Though Haskins did little to impress early in the 2020 season (4 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 6.6 yards per attempt, and an 80.3 passer rating), he looked promising near the end of his rookie season in 2019. Over his final three games of his rookie season, Haskins threw 5 touchdowns to just 1 interception and posted a passer rating above 121.0 twice in his final three performances.

At the same time, we can’t just ignore his shortcomings. Dwyane Haskins has never really been a big-play quarterback and his yards per attempt throughout both college and the NFL have been concerning. Even more disturbing is the fact that Haskins has completed 20 or more passes just twice in 13 NFL games so far.

Perhaps Dwayne Haskins could revamp his career on a new team, but I would prefer the Steelers to pursue a quarterback with more upside to be Ben’s successor – whether that means trading for a different player or finding one in the NFL Draft. This move wouldn’t cost Pittsburgh a lot, but Haskins isn’t going to help this offense reach its full potential.