Dwayne Haskins' NFL Future Likely Down to Six Possible Destinations in Draft's First Round

By Andrew Ellis on March 31, 2019 at 8:30 am
Dwayne Haskins will hear his name called on April 25th.

The NFL draft is an unpredictable beast, and it's that time of year when each and every analyst is unveiling his or her "Mock Draft Version X" on a seemingly weekly basis.

Is it a bit overkill? Probably. But college basketball is winding down and we only get so many updates on Ohio State's spring practices, so many of us have understandably been fully engulfed by the draft chatter.

We've done our best to round up the latest mock drafts and give some insight as to which NFL teams would be the best fits for Ohio State's 2019 draft class. The biggest question pertaining to the Buckeyes, however, likely revolves around this year's quarterback class and where Dwayne Haskins will ultimately end up. 

There are bound to be trades (congratulations Browns fans) that will shake things up a bit, but at this point it's looking like Haskins' destination will come down to one of six teams. Each of those potential destinations come with their own pros and cons.

Oakland Raiders: Picks No. 4 & No. 24

The Derek Carr experiment has had more downs than ups, but at the moment it's looking like Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock are comfortable with keeping him at the helm. Drafted in the second round back in 2014, Carr was Pro Football Focus's 21st-rated quarterback a season ago. He'll now have some better protection with the signing of left tackle Trent Brown and new toys with Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams as the projected starting wideouts.

The Raiders have the No. 4 and No. 24 picks, and it's likely they'll try to nab a pass-rusher first and foremost. Even if Haskins were to somehow fall to 24 (he won't), Oakland has other more pressing needs. This seems like a long shot for Haskins, but playing with Antonio Brown – who worked out with Haskins on Saturday – would have to be appealing for a young quarterback.

  • Outlook: Looking Unlikely

New York Giants: Picks No. 6 & No. 17

The Giants have consistently been mentioned as one of the most likely landing spots for Haskins. Eli Manning is clearly on his last legs and most New York fans wanted them to grab one of the top signal-callers in last year's draft. Instead they went with Saquon Barkley (who was great) and then upgraded the offensive line with Will Hernandez.

It's been a tumultuous offseason headlined by the Odell Beckham trade, but the Giants seemingly have to take a quarterback early this year. Some rumors came out that the organization wasn't all that interested in Haskins, but he then met with the New York brass prior to his pro day. It seems unlikely that he'd fall to pick No. 17, but it's also worth noting that the Giants need help at edge rusher and linebacker. 

The offensive line has improved with the addition of Kevin Zeitler, but the loss of Beckham means the G-Men are more limited in terms of weapons with Barkley, Evan Engram, Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard. The potential for a Josh Rosen trade also complicates things, but right now the Giants are probably the leaders in the clubhouse for Haskins.

  • Outlook: The Presumptive Favorite

Denver Broncos: Pick No. 10

Joe Flacco is now in Denver, but the 34-year-old clearly isn't going to be the team's long-term quarterback. Some Broncos insiders believe grabbing one of the top quarterbacks should be a priority in the upcoming draft while others prefer upgrades to the offensive line. Denver still has Emmanuel Sanders  – who's bouncing back from a torn Achilles – and some young talent at wideout with guys like Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton.

John Elway and the Broncos' big shots seem to believe that Flacco has some gas left in the tank beyond just 2019, so I'm guessing offensive line will be focus in round one. A few different Denver reporters have also discussed the possibility of trading up for Haskins, however.

  • Outlook: A Puncher's Chance

Cincinnati Bengals: Pick No. 11

As a Cincinnati Bengals fan, I am completely torn on this possibility, and it has nothing to do with confidence in Andy Dalton or anything ridiculous like that. We all know exactly what Dalton is by now: a middle-of-the-road NFL quarterback who's not going to lift a team to playoff wins. Has it all been his fault? Absolutely not, and to be honest that's one of the reasons I'm worried about the possibility of Haskins in Cincy. 

The Bengals had an absolutely atrocious offensive line last season. What did they do to try and make things better? They signed Bobby Hart to a three-year, $21-million contract. That's the same Bobby Hart who was released by the Giants back in 2017 when they were struggling to find bodies in the trenches. Billy Price was banged up a year ago so perhaps he can help with an offensive line turnaround in the Queen City. 

On the other hand, the Bengals have plenty of weapons. You could do a lot worse than A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, Joe Mixon, and I guess (maybe) John Ross. I'm totally in favor of someone not named Andy Dalton, but I would worry about that offensive line protecting Haskins. Linebacker and offensive line are the biggest needs, but there's been plenty of talk of the new regime going with a quarterback in round one as well.

  • Outlook: Realistic Possibility 

Miami Dolphins: Pick No. 13

The Dolphins selected Raekwon McMillan in the second round of the 2017 NFL draft and then took Jerome Baker in the third round last year. Miami has been mentioned as another team that could trade up for Haskins, but there are also needs along both the offensive and defensive lines and at wideout. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a bridge quarterback, but that bridge may lead to a 2020 draft pick rather than 2019. 

Miami's pass-catchers aren't exactly lighting the world on fire, as the unit was one of the league's worst a season ago. DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills, Mike Gesicki and Kenyan Drake are the primary options heading into 2019. The Dolphins went 7-9 last year and this isn't a team that's expected to win now. It's all going to depend on which of the many needs they plan to address in round one.

  • Outlook: Worth Keeping an Eye on

Washington Redskins: Pick No. 15

Whether it be Colt McCoy or Case Keenum (or Alex Smith when healthy), the Redskins will also have a bridge in place under center. Washington is also a team that needs to win now, so leadership will have to weigh the more immediate needs versus the future at quarterback. Pass rushers, interior offensive line, and wideouts are all areas that need to be addressed if the Skins want to make any sort of run in 2019. They'd also likely need to trade up for a quarterback unless they're comfortable with someone like Drew Lock or Daniel Jones.

Washington's offensive line is better than some of the other teams in the running, but the team isn't loaded with playmakers on offense. Josh Doctson hasn't been great at wide receiver and Jordan Reed is always an injury risk. Derrius Guice will be back this year after tearing his ACL last year, so that should help things on offense a bit. Haskins is from the DMV and the Redskins need to find an option for the long haul, but the need to win now may have them looking elsewhere.

  • Outlook: Worth Watching, but More Pressing Needs Elsewhere

While most are forecasting Kyler Murray at No. 1 overall, the Arizona Cardinals did spend Friday evening meeting with Nick Bosa in Florida. If Arizona elects to stick with Josh Rosen, that could make the quarterback picture even more interesting leading up to April 25, and put Murray in play for one of the above teams. If Rosen is dealt, there's clearly a good chance that it would be to one of the aforementioned franchises, scratching one of them from the Haskins sweepstakes altogether.

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