In this series of articles, our resident tape wizard Greg Cosell will take an in-depth look at some of the more interesting fantasy players for the 2020 NFL season. It’s a peek behind the curtain of the film room, as these are Greg’s raw, unfiltered notes he takes as he watches a player.
Here is a full breakdown of second-year Washington QB Dwayne Haskins’s rookie season.
All seven starts: Bills, Jets, Lions, Panthers, Packers, Eagles, Giants
All third-down snaps: Haskins on third down 29/58 (50%), 305 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT, 15 sacks
Haskins is a little stiff-legged and rigid in his drop and set in the pocket. His feet at times looked a little heavy.
Haskins features a compact, quick delivery. He’s more of a “flicker” than a thrower, but he can drive the ball with velocity.
One thing that stood out with Haskins was that he can lay the ball over underneath defenders in zone coverage. He showed a good feel for the firm touch throw that’s demanded in that situation.
Another trait that Haskins flashed on tape was an ability to feel outside pressure and climb the pocket to deliver the ball.
There were snaps in which Haskins was slow mentally eliminating and isolating, resulting in playing too fast physically and breaking down in the pocket.
Through his first four starts overall, Haskins did not see things with the needed clarity and quickness of decision-making. He did not look comfortable in the pocket, often resulting in poor ball placement throws.
There were snaps in which Haskins created his own pressure with unnecessary movement. At times he showed a tendency to drift off the mid-line to his left.
For Haskins to be successful in the NFL, he must become an efficient late-in-the-down pocket QB. As a rookie, he was not yet confident enough to play with patience in the pocket.
Haskins must become a better QB athlete, navigating and moving within the pocket more effectively.
Haskins must continue to improve his pocket feel and awareness, plus also improve his second reaction ability. Haskins had too many snaps in which he was indecisive in the pocket, leaving throws on the field. The result was often a sack, including far too many sacks in the red zone.
The Redskins’ offensive line/pass protection did not help Haskins. He is the style of QB who needs a secure, clean pocket, and they did not consistently provide that, especially on third downs.
Notable Scheme/Play Specifics
- Bills and Jets featured a lot of pressure looks on third down. Not only did Haskins have to mentally process those looks, but the fronts forced the offset back to stay in to pass protect, limiting the route concepts.
- S Jamal Adams sack on third-and-6 on Haskins’ second third down versus Jets was a great example of a blitz package breaking down the Redskins’ six-man protection.
- WR Kelvin Harmon 24 yards on third-and-7 early in the third quarter versus Jets was a good example of what Haskins must be as an NFL QB. The Jets gave a six-man pressure front look, but only rushed three from the front with two defensive backs adding in as edge rushers, making it a five-man rush. The slot corner came clean off the back side edge. Haskins did an excellent job climbing the pocket and delivering to Harmon on the dig as part of the “dagger” route concept.
- At times, Haskins showed kind of an awkward ability to get out of the pocket and scramble for good yardage even though he’s not particularly mobile: 18 yards on third-and-10 vs. the Lions was a great example.
- WR Steven Sims 10-yard TD versus the Giants showed potential with Haskins’ second-reaction ability. He left the pocket to his left and threw a dart on the move — that needs to be something he can do when the situation demands it.
Notes From All 15+ Yard Completions
Haskins is much more of an arm thrower than a core torque thrower. He does not transfer his weight effectively when he delivers the ball.
WR Terry McLaurin 26 yards versus Lions was representative of Haskins’ outstanding arm strength. He was a beat late with the sideline hole shot versus Cover 2, but beat the safety with the velocity of the throw.
When Haskins is secure and comfortable in the pocket, he can drive the ball with velocity.
Harmon 26 yards versus Lions on the back side an excellent example of the kind of late-in-the-down throw Haskins must make.
Haskins showed flashes of the subtle pocket movement that must be a part of his game given that he will make his living in the NFL as a pocket passer.
Haskins showed flashes of being able to climb the pocket to avoid outside pressure and then drive the ball at the intermediate levels.
What Haskins can do with his strong arm is sit on his back foot in the pocket and drive the ball with his quick compact delivery.
Second-reaction throws are not a strength of Haskins game but he did show that he’s capable of it – must work hard on that aspect of his game.
One throw that Haskins clearly feels comfortable making and executes well is the dig ball – “dagger” was a foundational route concept in the Redskins’ pass game.
Haskins showed the passing ability to take something off the throw when needed and throw with pace and touch.
Haskins’ footwork must become cleaner on the three-step and five-step timing throws from under center in the quick passing game.
Haskins showed the ability to execute the conventional play-action pass game, turning his back to the defense and then processing the coverage and isolating the throw.