JP Finlay believes Dwayne Haskins will be Redskins' Week 1 starter

Chris Lingebach
May 10, 2019 - 6:08 pm

Redskins first-round pick Dwayne Haskins will be the starting quarterback by Week 1 of the 2019 season, JP Finlay predicted on 106.7 The Fan.

Friday brought the arrival of rookie minicamp at Redskins Park, Haskins' first opportunity since going 15th overall to get some action in his new No. 7 jersey.

"It was kind of fun to watch," JP Finlay told Chad Dukes. "You're watching a rookie quarterback really going through the most rudimentary of drills, but it's exciting to start watching. That level of intrigue that a first-round rookie quarterback, a 15th overall pick, brings is... I feel like you can already tell it's coming that this is gonna be an entirely different season for the Skins. For better or worse."

For Finlay, the abundance of enthusiasm shown by Redskins fans for Haskins' first practice, a rookies-only practice even, is a clear indicator of which direction momentum's building.

"I think Haskins starts Week 1," Finlay said. "I really do."

"Is that on merit," Dukes asked. "Or is that just because you have to?"

"If they come out of camp and Keenum looks to be – on a scale of 100 – an 82 QB and Haskins is anything north of 70, I think you play him," said Finlay. "You let him develop. And the interest and the pressure will all be there."

"I think we'll know early on in training camp what's gonna happen," he said. "If Haskins looks competent running the offense, we know he has the arm, we know he has the ability to make the throws, it's gonna be telling early on. I don't think this thing is gonna drag through the third preseason game, like a lot of folks are expecting those to be real tests, because everything has to happen on an accelerated curve."

"They need their QB to install the offense and they don't have the luxury of two guys that know the system," he continued. "They have Colt that knows the system, but we don't know what's going on with Colt's health. Gruden said training camp for Colt now, which is really starting to get interesting.

"But the two guys – the two presumed front-runners for this job – don't know the team, don't know the system, haven't thrown with these players, haven't lined up behind this offensive line. And they don't have enough time, in a year where everyone's been told they are 'close,' they are 'close to competing.'

"For whatever that means, if it's a division title or a wild card, or whatever 'close' means to the Redskins front office, they gotta be that and they can't bring someone along slowly. So I think, if it's Keenum, he needs the reps. If you're gonna go with Case, he needs that work early on. Last year in camp, Alex Smith got all the work and Colt got a handful of plays here and there, and Alex didn't know that offense Week 1."

"My point is Alex, a 14-year NFL veteran that had taken multiple teams to the playoffs," Finlay said. "You can pick plenty of faults with Alex Smith, but by and large everyone would say he's a good NFL quarterback. I don't think people are saying great. But he came to the Skins as the undisputed starter, and still Jay Gruden early on in the seasons was like, 'Yeah, we're still figuring some stuff out. We're still working through some stuff.'

"When you have Keenum and Haskins, there's no way either one of those guys is gonna be full-go Week 1, so you've got to just speed this whole process up." 

Haskins starting Week 1 wasn't the only prediction from Finlay. He also likes rookie Wes Martin to start at guard opposite of Brandon Scherff. A fourth-round pick out Indiana, Martin (6-foot-3, 311 lbs.) is drawing comparisons in the building to Chase Roullier, Washington's sixth-round selection out of Wyoming in 2017," Finlay says.

"I firmly believe it's gonna be Wes Martin (starting)," Finlay said. "I do. I think the organization thinks they have Chase Roullier. Not that Indiana's a small school, but it's certainly not a football factory.

"He was quite durable, very, very strong – I think they like that a lot. I think he'll be ready to go as a run-blocker right away, from guys I've talked to. The questions are gonna be in the pass game, which is fairly similar to Shawn Lauvao. And as much as Shawn Lauvao became a complete punching bag for fans, he wasn't terrible. He was pretty good in the run and not great in pass, especially once the injuries started piling up for him. I think you can get replacement-level Shawn Lauvao right away from this guy and maybe better."

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