Haskins is 'twice the QB' RGIII was, ex-Redskins exec says

Ben Krimmel
May 30, 2019 - 9:53 am
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It has been seven years since the Washington Redskins drafted a quarterback in the first round of the NFL Draft. Time has yet to heal that wound of how things ended up.

But with the selection of Dwayne Haskins with the No. 15 pick this year, Redskins fans who are ready to believe in life after love have lots of reason for optimism. ESPN NFL analyst and former scout and director of player personnel for Washington Louis Riddick said there is no comparison between Haskins and Robert Griffin III.

“Dwayne Haskins is twice the thrower of Robert Griffin,” Riddick said this week on "The John Keim Report" podcast. “He’s twice the quarterback. Robert Griffin was never a good pocket quarterback. . . . When it came to 3rd down, (when he was) sitting in the pocket and you don't have the benefit of play action and it's 3rd-and-6, 3rd-and-7 plus, then they know, 'Now we've got you boxed in, now we can start doing some things to you.' He folded like a lawn chair. That was not his forte, he didn't have the football intellect of Dwayne Haskins."

Speaking of Haskins, Riddick added: "This is a legit, legit franchise quarterback, and they need to protect this young man and set the table for him because he truly since I left there... they have not had anything like him since 2001. Nothing."

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"The kid can throw the football, flat-out throw the football. And it moves through the air in a way that instantly kind of resonates with you in terms of, he has special arm talent. And I hate that word, but that's what he has. He's special in that way," he said.

What made Riddick a fan of Haskins coming out of Ohio State?

"His football intelligence, first and foremost," he said. "You can recognize that kind of thing in a quarterback just based on the decisions that he makes on the football field in crucial situations, the ability to recognize front, coverage, put the ball where it needs to be put from a decision-making process, and he was one of those kinds of guys, who even in the course of a game where things weren't going well for him, he eventually figured it out which takes a degree of football intelligence and a high degree of football character. And that's what attracted me to him even more so than his outright physical ability, which when you watch it, is I believe, spectacular." 

Can the Redskins put enough talent around their top pick to get the most out of him?

"Washington has, you know, a big task in front of them as far as making sure he has the right weapons around him, particularly on the perimeter," Riddick said. "You know they have the weapons in the backfield, you know they have an offensive line – that provided all these guys stay healthy – that they'll be able to control the line of scrimmage, it is just can they get a tight end that is gonna be able to stay healthy? A wide receiver that is true No. 1 that'll stay healthy? A slot receiver that will replace a guy like Jamison Crowder, that'll stay healthy.

"And a coaching staff that will stay behind (Haskins), stay committed to him, stay in place, and help this kid have the career that he deserves to have."

Will the Redskins be patient and allow Haskins to get settled in the NFL before trotting him out to start?

"I think they want to be, I know that," Riddick said. "I know they are conscious of it. They are very much so aware of how much that would benefit him, but even more so than their relative... lack of having enough patience, I think, the fan base around there, that city, the surrounding areas, they're gonna want to see Dwayne play.

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"And as much respect as I have for Case Keenum, Case is not Dwayne. They're not in the same Zip code," he told Keim. "When Dwayne throws the football in the preseason people are gonna go, 'I want more of that. I don't care if they don't have wide receivers, I want to see that because that will make me come to this stadium and buy these tickets and buy his jersey and buy these hot dogs and buy this beer. I want to see that kid play.'"

Riddick added that is where the pressure to rush Haskins in the starting lineup will come from. The Redskins will tell themselves they need to be patient, the fan base won't want them to be patient, Riddick added.

"(Redskins fans) want excitement, they haven't had it. He represents hope and that's a lot to put on a young man like that," Riddick said.

Riddick also had high praise for Redskins new offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell.

“If I’m ever to get back in the league to be a GM, (O’Connell is) a guy people continually put on my radar and talk about as you have to watch this young man, you have to keep an eye on him,” Riddick told Keim. “He needs to be the main voice in Dwayne Haskins’s ear. He’s the one that they need to let really guide him through the early part of his career and the early part of his rookie season until he eventually becomes a head coach somewhere because people think that he is special. We’ll see.”

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