Dolphins passed on drafting Dwayne Haskins. Any regrets?

DAVIE, Fla. -- One team's decision to pass on Dwayne Haskins at No. 13 and the other's decision to draft the Ohio State quarterback at No. 15 will serve as pivotal moments in the future of two rebuilding franchises: the Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins.

The Dolphins performed extensive evaluation of the 2019 quarterback draft class -- including plenty of work on Haskins. Mock drafts often tied Haskins to Miami. But when the Dolphins were on the clock with the No. 13 pick and Haskins was still available, they selected Clemson defensive lineman Christian Wilkins.

That decision made Haskins available for Washington at No. 15. Miami's attention shifted toward the 2020 draft, where the Dolphins felt better about finding their long-term quarterback in a group likely led by Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa and Oregon's Justin Herbert.

Sunday, Miami (0-4) hosts Washington (0-5) in the winless bowl -- a matchup between the NFL's worst two teams in terms of point differential -- and the outcome could play a role in the 2020 draft order. ESPN's FPI projects, through five weeks, these teams to have the top two picks.

The next few years will determine who got the better end of the Haskins decision, which will mean more in the long run than who wins Sunday's Week 6 game.

Bright future

It's too early to make a definitive evaluation on Haskins' young career. There were reports about differences among Washington's coaching staff and ownership on the extent to which they wanted Haskins. It’s also worth wondering how much the team's decision to fire coach Jay Gruden after five games will affect Haskins' career.

It was clear throughout the draft process that Haskins, 22, would need the mentorship of a good coaching staff before he reached his full potential. He has been a backup in Washington, as he's expected to be again Sunday against Miami. He threw three interceptions in a single half during his only NFL regular-season action after replacing an injured Case Keenum in Week 3 against the Giants.

There is already external worry that the way Washington is handling Haskins could leave him in a similar scenario as that of Dolphins quarterback Josh Rosen. In April, Rosen was traded from the Arizona Cardinals after one rocky season when coach Kliff Kingsbury fell in love with No. 1 pick Kyler Murray.

"[Haskins is] going through that adaptation process now," Washington interim coach Bill Callahan said. "I'm sure in the New York game, he would have loved to have a few plays back. He's making strides. It's going to take some time. We're in no rush to put him on the field."

But two men in Miami who have watched a lot of Haskins -- former Ohio State teammate Jerome Baker and Dolphins coach Brian Flores -- said Haskins has a bright future once he's ready.

"He's definitely special. His arm is crazy," Baker said. "He came in at Ohio State as a freshman on [the] scout team. I was covering someone 45 yards down the field, so I started jogging in coverage thinking my job was done. I remember the receiver kept going and Dwayne threw it. He threw it so far, the guy caught it on the run maybe 60 or 70 yards down the field. I was like, 'Wow, he's got an arm.' That's when I knew he had it. He'll be all right. He's still a very young guy."

Flores added: "[Haskins is] very talented. Big arm. Gifted. He had a great year a year ago and he is a very talented player. I have watched a lot of his film."

If Haskins succeeds, people will second-guess whether Miami made the right choice to pass on him. If Haskins doesn't pan out and the Dolphins find their franchise quarterback -- potentially high in the 2020 draft -- then Miami general manager Chris Grier will receive praise for his decision-making.


Once the Dolphins traded away seven-year starter Ryan Tannehill in March, they were thrust into the quarterback market. Haskins seemed like the most likely option for Miami once it became clear Murray would go to the Cardinals at No. 1.

Grier watched Haskins play at Ohio State, attended his pro day and visited with him in the pre-draft process. There were elements of Haskins' game the Dolphins liked, including his big arm, but they didn't fall in love with him.

After sticking with Tannehill for so long, the Dolphins are determined to hit on a quarterback. Rosen is on a one-year tryout, but Miami remains steady in its refusal to settle on a long-term quarterback at this time.

Haskins, a one-year starter at Ohio State, was more of a raw talent in a 2019 QB class that Grier said required "more projection."

That certainly played a role in passing on Haskins. The Dolphins were deciding, per a source, between Alabama offensive tackle Jonah Williams and Wilkins before Cincinnati took the former with the No. 11 pick. Miami stuck to its scouting reports and passed on a quarterback it didn't love.

"Quarterbacks have been so hit-and-miss," Grier said during the NFL combine. "If you study them, 50 percent or less end up becoming even good starting quarterbacks. So it's hard to say. But every class has one or two quarterbacks that become a good player in the league."

The Dolphins decided there wasn't a surefire bet they wanted to make on a QB in the 2019 draft, and Rosen has 12 games left to make his best impression.

There will be plenty of folks in Washington and Miami watching how Haskins' career progresses, because the way the teams handled that draft-day decision will be tied together for years to come.