Dwayne Haskins won’t be the answer for Steelers after Ben Roethlisberger

Dwayne Haskins Jr. #7 of the Washington Football Team. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Dwayne Haskins Jr. #7 of the Washington Football Team. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

Many Steelers fans are high on quarterback Dwayne Haskins, but here’s why he won’t be the answer for the team after Ben Roethlisberger.

When the Steelers signed former Washington quarterback, Dwyane Haskins, I wasn’t opposed. Haskins was let go after some shaky performances and off-field issues that the team was no longer willing to deal with.

However, as a former first-round pick in 2019 (15th overall), there is a certain level of intrigue that comes with signing a player who was drafted this high. Knowing that the Steelers were able to acquire the 24-year-old quarterback on a one-year, $850,000 deal made this essentially a risk-free move.

While I am not at all opposed to the signing (or ever bringing in added competition at a low cost, for that matter), I want to caution fans against thinking that Haskins will turn out to be the heir apparent to Ben Roethlisberger. In fact, I would be shocked if this ever happened.

Haskins isn’t the long-term answer for Steelers

There are several factors that I continue to see many fans push that make them think that Haskins is going to be the quarterback of the future for this team. First of all, his former draft status certainly comes into play.

It’s not often that you see the former 15th overall pick released just two seasons into his rookie deal. Even with some off-field concerns and questionable locker room presence, it is a little hard to believe that Washington gave up on him with three cheap years remaining on his rookie deal (including the fifth-year option). Unfortunately, your draft position no longer matters at this point, and Haskins hasn’t even come close to playing like a first-round pick over his first two seasons in the NFL.

In addition, many fans believe that Haskins has terrific tools for the position – pointing to his arm strength and even mobility as reasons why he could be the long-term answer for the Steelers. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. While Haskins has a respectable NFL arm, it’s nothing to write home about, and he still really struggles with the deep ball.

His mobility is even worse. Though he could probably beat a 39-year-old Ben Roethlisberger in a foot race at his point, or do a slightly better job eliding the pressure in the pocket, this is not – nor has it ever been – a strong suit for Dwayne Haskins. In fact, this is one of his biggest knocks. He’s just not a very good athlete.

Haskins ran a 5.04 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine (12th percentile) and recorded a vertical jump of just 28.5” (18th percentile), according to Mockdraftable.com. His timed speed was worse than players like Mason Rudolph, Mike Glennon, and Joe Flacco.

Obviously, athletic numbers don’t tell the whole story, but the film backs this up entirely. Not only does Haskins struggle within the pocket, but he also has virtually no legs to get outside the framework of the pocket and extend the play. Additionally, his 1.9 yards per carry in college speaks volumes of his running ability with the football.

However, perhaps the biggest reason why Haskins won’t be the heir apparent to Ben Roethlisberger is that he’s just not a very good passer. I really questioned his ability to hit receivers in stride and be more than generally accurate coming out of Ohio State in 2019. So far, Haskins has only proven me correct.

Over his first two seasons, Haskins completed just 60.1 percent of his passes for a 74.4 passer rating. His adjusted yards per attempt (5.4) and QBR have been among the worst in the league since he entered the league, according to Pro Football Reference.

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I have no issue with the Steelers bringing in added depth and competition with Dwayne Haskins, but it’s time we throw his former draft status out the window. The fact of the matter is that Haskins has proven nothing in the NFL. He will have a clean slate in Pittsburgh, but don’t expect him to be the answer after Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback.