With A Successful 2018 Season, Dwayne Haskins Could Surface As A Top QB Prospect In The 2019 NFL Draft

By James Grega on May 1, 2018 at 8:35 am
Dwayne Haskins

When you hear the phrase 'one-and-done,' your mind immediately goes to college basketball, where many players over the years have played their one required season before bolting to the NBA ranks. 

Dwayne Haskins has been around Ohio State for two years already, but could be setting himself up for a one-and-done kind of season if he is successful as the Buckeyes starting quarterback. 

I know what you're thinking: James, he hasn't even been named the starter at Ohio State yet, are you really penciling him into the 2019 NFL Draft already?

Yes. Yes I am. 

Ever since I saw Haskins throw in person during fall camp 2016, I have been of the mindset that he would eventually pass up whoever was in front of him on the depth chart and succeed J.T. Barrett as Ohio State's next starter. I could still be wrong on that, but I will stick to my guns to the end. 

Assuming Haskins does win the job in 2018, he could be looking at an opportunity similar to what Cam Newton accomplished in 2010-11. I am in no way comparing the skill sets of the two, but the opportunity is very similar. 

In 2010, Newton arrived on campus at Auburn with zero Division I college football starts under his belt. He went on to lead the Tigers to an undefeated 14-0 season and a national title, throwing 30 touchdown passes and rushing for another 20 on the ground. He was named the Heisman Trophy winner and selected No. 1 overall in the 2011 draft by Carolina. The rest is history. 

Haskins doesn't have nearly the athleticism of Newton, but the opportunity to become the next one-and-done quarterback to be drafted as a high-round pick is very much in play. How is that possible? Just take a look at the 2019 quarterback draft class. 

In Matt Miller's 2019 NFL Mock Draft, six quarterbacks are projected to go in the first round, and the lineup isn't exactly that impressive. In a CBS Sports Mock Draft, Auburn's Jarrett Stidham and West Virginia's Will Grier were mentioned as potential first-round picks in 2019 as well. 

Matt Miller's 2019 First Round QBs
Quarterback Pick College
Justin Herbert No. 2 Oregon
Drew Lock No. 4 Missouri
Clayton Thorson No. 14 Northwestern
Shea Patterson No. 17 Michigan
Nick Fitzgerald No. 22 Mississippi State
Ryan Finley No. 32 NC State

A sophomore last season, Herbert struggled through injuries, playing just eight games and throwing 15 touchdowns to five interceptions during a 7-6 season for the Ducks. Lock put up great numbers, but started the season 1-5 in Missouri, including a 35-3 loss to Purdue. 

The rest of the names should be somewhat familiar to Buckeye fans, but if that is the best college football can offer for NFL teams searching for a signal caller in 2019, Haskins has a chance to join or even jump some of these names. 

Haskins projects extremely well to the next level with a 6-foot-3 frame and an arm that would rival that of most quarterbacks in the league right now. The lone downside outside of playing time would be his slender frame. At just 218 pounds, Haskins would need to gain at least 10 more pounds to increase his durability at the NFL level. 

If you think an Ohio State quarterback isn't capable of making such a jump, remember that in 2014-15, Cardale Jones started just three games – albeit big games – and was considering leaving early for the 2015 draft. Some even considered Jones a first-round talent after those three games, despite the lack of film on the Cleveland native. 

Ultimately, Jones decided to come back to Ohio State and was selected in the fourth round of the 2016 draft and is currently battling to just maintain a roster spot with the Los Angeles Chargers. 

I am not here to guarantee Haskins will be a first-round pick in the 2019 draft. However, when you look at the other signal-callers in the class, the possibility is not completely out of the question. If Haskins can put together a solid 2018 season with the Buckeyes, there is a very good chance he could find himself competing for a starting job in the NFL this time next year. 

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