As he winds down a great season as Ohio State’s starter, a first-round draft grade confirms Dwayne Haskins should declare for the 2019 NFL Draft.
Dwayne Haskins has had a terrific first season as Ohio State’s starting quarterback, throwing for 4,580 yards (first in the FBS) and 47 touchdowns (also first in FBS) while also sitting top-10 in the country in passer rating (175.8; fourth) and completion percentage (70.2; sixth). He finished third in the Heisman voting.
But it’s looking like he will be one-and-done as the Buckeyes’ starting quarterback. According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, the NFL draft advisory board has already given Haskins a first-round grade.
Unlike the 2018 class, the 2019 quarterback draft class is not in line to yield five first-round picks. But Haskins has prototypical size (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) to go along with some running ability (four rushing scores this season), and he’s already been widely projected to be a first-round pick in April if he does declare for the draft. As a redshirt sophomore, he’s able to do so.
In fact, most draft analysts have Haskins as either their No. 1 or No. 2 quarterback in the 2019 class. In recent mock drafts, Dane Brugler of The Athletic and Todd McShay of ESPN both have Haskins as a top-10 overall pick.
Haskins previously said he wouldn’t make a decision on the draft until after the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, when the Buckeyes take on Washington. Mortensen added that Haskins still intends to play in the Rose Bowl, pending discussion with coaches and family.
But based on the projections which are already out there, a first-round draft grade from the NFL draft advisory board should have been confirmation of that status, not necessarily a reason to now bow out of a bowl game.
While the Rose Bowl is special, even as a non-playoff game, if Haskins changed his previous plan to play no one would really bat an eye. But the decision to declare for the 2019 draft is now even more clear than it was, if Haskins really needed the push.