Haskins: ‘Not that important’ to be first QB taken

Haskins: ‘Not that important’ to be first QB taken

INDIANAPOLIS – Former Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins is not lacking in self confidence, but that doesn’t mean he cares about being the first quarterback off the board in April’s draft.

Mar 1, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins (QB05) speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at the Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

“It’s not that important to me,” Haskins said Friday at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine. “For me, it’s being with the right franchise, being with the right team and winning a Super Bowl. So whether that’s first quarterback taken, second quarterback taken, it’s all a blessing regardless of where I’m going.”

Most have pegged Haskins as one of the top two quarterback prospects in the class, along with Oklahoma Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray. Since declaring his intentions to commit fully to football, Murray has steadily garnered more attention as potentially being the top signal-caller off the board.

But while Haskins says he feels he’s “the top quarterback,” he isn’t focused on jockeying with Murray for position.

“I’m not worried about Kyler,” an easy-going Haskins said with a laugh. “I gotta worry about me. I’m going to do what I need to do in meetings, and out on the field tomorrow, showcase my talents. I know I’m a franchise quarterback and I’m going to be a really great quarterback in the NFL.”

Unlike Murray, Haskins fits the mold of a prototypical pocket passer, having thrown for 4,831 yards in his lone season as a starter at Ohio State, and doing so almost exclusively from the pocket.

Asked about a claim earlier this month that he’s “more of a runner than a thrower,” Haskins laughed it off.

“I can maneuver if I need to, but I’m deadly in the pocket,” he said.

That said, the QB doesn’t agree with the perception of some that he lacks the mobility to survive when needed.

“Ha,” Haskins said when asked about that suggestion. “That’s how I feel about that.”

A likely top-10 pick — if not the first quarterback off the board — Haskins likely won’t be spending much time on the bench as a rookie. But if he winds up with a team like the New York Giants, who could keep Eli Manning as a bridge to a rookie, Haskins could wind up learning from the sidelines like he did in college.

Behind Buckeyes starter J.T. Barrett, Haskins sat for two years without much action, getting in only for 57 pass attempts in 2017 before taking over as a starter in 2018.

“I can point to Ohio State, and how I didn’t play for a year and a half at Ohio State, played a little bit as a backup,” Haskins said. “I’m comfortable enough to learn from someone that’s been there in front of me, and I know that I’m going to compete to be ready for when my time’s called.”

While Haskins isn’t concerned with how high he’s drafted or if he goes in front of Murray, he does appear to have a friendly competition with Ohio State teammate Nick Bosa, a defensive end who is a contender to go first overall.

“He said I can go first, and he’ll go second,” Haskins said with a laugh. .”..We both joke about that a lot whenever we see each other.”

—By David DeChant, Field Level Media

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