ASHBURN—Dwayne Haskins met Dan Snyder’s son in high school in suburban Washington, and it began the path to being drafted by the Redskins.
Snyder and team President Bruce Allen had their sights set on the Ohio State standout leading up to the NFL draft and didn’t even have to trade up to get him, getting someone they hope will be their quarterback of the future by taking Haskins with the 15th pick Thursday night.
“It’s just crazy how small this world is and how you meet somebody and that can change your life,” Haskins said. “That’s why I make sure I treat people the way I want to be treated, and I’ve got to do all I can to make sure that I leave a lasting impression on people. I think that’s [why] Mr. Snyder thought that I was the guy for this franchise. I’m just really excited for the future.”
Born in New Jersey, Haskins and his family moved to Potomac, Maryland, before high school. He got to know Snyder’s son at the Bullis School and met the Redskins’ owner during the draft process.
Haskins joins a crowded roster at QB with injured veteran Alex Smith, longtime backup Colt McCoy and trade acquisition Case Keenum. Smith is expected to miss the entire 2019 season after breaking his right leg in November.
In his redshirt sophomore season at Ohio State, Haskins threw for a Big Ten record 4,831 yards and 50 touchdowns, had just eight interceptions and rushed for four scores. He led the Buckeyes to a Big Ten title and a 13-1 season just outside of a spot in the college football playoff.
Haskins only started one NCAA season but is confident that lack of experience won’t hurt him.
“I feel like I showed all I could as far as one year,” Haskins. “I broke a lot of records and did a lot of great things. I feel like I did a lot of stuff that showed that I can be able to translate to the NFL. Just being able to do what I did at a high level, it was the right choice for me to make that change to go to the pros. I’m grateful the Redskins thought so, as well.”
Later, the Redskins used a trade with the Indianapolis Colts to get their No. 26 pick and select Mississippi State defensive end Montez Sweat. The team will like transition him to outside linbebacker.
Haskins was the third quarterback taken in the draft after the Arizona Cardinals took Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray first overall and the Redskins’ NFC East rival New York Giants selected Duke’s Daniel Jones with the sixth pick. Haskins said of the Giants, “I’m just looking forward to being able to compete against those guys for the rest of my career.”
As soon as the Miami Dolphins passed on Haskins and took Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, Haskins said he knew he was going to the Redskins.
Washington will have to wait until the 46th pick to fill another hole on the roster with edge rusher, wide receiver, tight end, guard and secondary help among the major needs.
Haskins, family members and friends watched the draft at a bowling alley and sports bar in Gaithersburg, Maryland, about 30 miles from the Redskins’ practice facility. The Redskins went with a quarterback in the first round for the first time since 2012, when they traded up to get Robert Griffin III with the second pick.
Seconds after Washington selected Haskins, Griffin tweeted : “You didn’t draft the young man for nothing. You did it because you believe in the young man. You did it because you need a Quarterback. Don’t give up on him prematurely. He is your investment. Give the kid time to prove himself. Congrats young gun!!! Enjoy every second of it!”
Haskins attended a couple of Redskins home games at FedEx Field when Griffin was the starter. Now he’s succeeding him as the latest hope to get them back to on-field relevancy after missing the playoffs the past three seasons and nine of the past 11.
“I’m looking forward to bringing that winning tradition back to the Redskins,” Haskins said. “I’m just excited to be a part of something special, be a part of a team again and I’m looking forward to calling the Redskins home for years to come and I’m just going to do everything I can to be ready.”
Haskins could be a long-term developmental project for the Redskins, who have Keenum and McCoy as healthy veterans and coach Jay Gruden signed for the next two seasons. Haskins said he and Gruden did a lot of hardcore football talk in pre-draft meetings and that he’s ready to dive into the playbook and make an impact whenever he’s called upon.
“I’m a young guy and I have a lot of work to do and they know I’m hungry and I’m ready to work,” Haskins said.