By: Ryan Cooley
Pro Football Focus’ Ben Linsey recently wrote an article saying Dwayne Haskins has been set up for failure in 2020. He brings up Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold and how they have been put in bad situations in their first two years. He feels Haskins is being thrown down the same path.
Before anyone can say if Haskins is set up for failure, we must first look at his supporting cast.
Terry McLaurin is the clear cut #1 WR for Washington. His 86.5 grade from PFF is the second-highest among rookie WRs since 2010. It was higher than Michael Thomas, Mike Evans, and Tyreek Hill’s rookie campaigns. Odell Beckham Jr. is the only one to have had a higher grade.
However, after McLaurin, there are a lot of unproven players. Steven Sims will most likely start in the slot. I have a lot of confidence in him, but that does not mean he is a for sure thing. Kelvin Harmon was drafted in the sixth round in 2019. He flashed a few times last season, but we have no idea how much playtime he will even receive.
The draft provided Haskins with two more weapons in Antonio Gibson and Antonio Gandy-Golden. Gibson will most likely play the swiss army knife role in the offense. I loved the Gandy-Golden selection, but the odds seemed stacked against him.
PFF broke down the rate of success for WRs to when they were drafted. Gandy-Golden was selected in the fourth round. Their statistics say 4th round WRs only have a 4.8% chance of becoming an elite WR (in the 90th percentile) and a 32.1% chance of becoming a starter (in the 65th percentile).
The tight end position has even more question marks. Right now, the TE room includes Jeremy Sprinkle, Richard Rodgers, Logan Thomas, and undrafted free agent Thaddeus Moss. None of these players are what I consider to be a threat to any defense. Rivera has spoken highly of Logan Thomas and seems to want to give him a fair shot at the starting job.
The offensive line is my biggest concern. The only player they can count of is RG Brandon Scherff. The left side of the line is the most vulnerable area. As of now, they do not have a starter at LT or LG.
The LT position will be between Geron Christian, Cornelius Lucas III, and rookie Saahdiq Charles. I believe Lucas will win the job. He started at both left and right tackle during what was his best season last year. Christian was drafted in the third round of the 2018 draft. Everyone knew he was going to be a project, but he had a ton of potential. Sadly, things have not worked out, and if it doesn’t come together for him this year, I expect the Redskins to move on. Charles is much like Christian as being a mid-round draft pick and needing a lot of work. I highly doubt he will be ready to start his rookie year.
The LG position will be between Wes Martin and Wes Schweitzer. Schweitzer is the favorite to win the job as he has the most experience. I liked the Martin pick in last year’s draft. However, what seems to be the theme of the offensive line, Martin is also a project. I do not think he will be ready to start, but that doesn’t mean he won’t. Schweitzer has not had a whole lot of success in the NFL. If he struggles early on, they may give Martin a shot.
Overall, I do not have much faith in this offensive line and think they should target a LT or LG via trade or someone that is still a free agent.
What Can They Do?
As for the weapons, I think it would be smart to wait and see what they have until they decide to bring someone in. If Rivera feels they need to add another piece, there are a few players he can sign.
One player is Antonio Brown. Most people will automatically say no to this, as they have seen what he has done in the past year. However, he seems to have calmed down and may benefit from a head coach that is all business. There is no denying he is one of the best WRs in the game. Giving Haskins both Brown and McLaurin to throw to would be a QBs dream. Brown was also seen working out with Haskins this offseason.
Josh Gordon is another option as he has officially asked to be reinstated into the NFL. Gordon is nowhere near the level of Brown, but could still be a good weapon for Haskins. Delaine Walker would be a great signing for them as well. The TE room is in need of a good veteran, and Walker could be just that.
I would like to see them sign veteran LT Jason Peters. Even at the age of 38, Peters would be the best tackle on the team. This, of course, is if he can stay healthy.
Overall, I think this is a waiting game. Rivera could definitely sign some players that would help Haskins, but he will probably wait to see what he has before he makes any moves. I have faith Dwyane Haskins can find success in 2020 if some of the pieces on the offense can step up. His growth later in the 2019 season showed that he has a chance to be the franchise QB in Washington.