For the Jacksonville Jaguars this meant that they, another quarterback needy team, would not be the lead team in the Dwayne Haskins Sweepstakes come draft day.
If Tom Coughlin saw Haskins as the team’s future, he might need to jump ahead of his old team, who themselves are in the twilight of Eli Manning’s career.
The Jaguars signing of Nick Foles, for all intents and purposes, meant their interest in a quarterback at number No. 7 overall no longer existed, with attention now focused on defensive tackle, offensive tackle, or tight end.
Then a strange thing happened. A very strange thing.
According to ESPN host and anchor Dianna Russini, the Giants are not interested in Dwayne Haskins. She spoke on ESPN’s Breaking Blue Podcast.
“About a week after the Combine, I circled back with some people like, ‘What are you thinking Haskins? Do you guys like him? Do you think you are going for it with your No. 6 pick?” Russini said. “It was, ‘No, actually. We are not doing a lot of work on him.’
“I spoke to a few people. I’ll paraphrase one: ‘He doesn’t fit with us.’
While pre-Draft talk serves many purposes, from outright denial to blood thick smoke screens, if accurate this news creates a very interesting possibility for the Jaguars in the first round. What if Dwayne Haskins is there when the Jaguars are on the clock? Do they trade back, still go with their board, or pull the trigger on the quarterback who many qualify as the most NFL ready player at the position in this draft?
Local Jacksonville radio picked up on scenario, with radio host Mike Dempsey and Jaguars beat writer John Oehser discussing the possibility, and positing what the Jaguars might do. Along with show producer Tony Smith, the three agreed that if Haskins in there you should take him. When asked what he thinks the Jaguars will if Haskins is not there, Oehser stated there is an 80% possibility the Jaguars go offensive tackle, in his opinion.
To make the discussion even more interesting, Dempsey created a poll for his listening audience, asking who they would take if Haskins was available at No. 7 overall. The link is below, if you have not voted. As of this writing the results are:
- WR/TE at 29%
- Best OL at 23%
- Haskins at 24%
- Trade down at 24%
The question the Jaguars need to answer is how close they think this team is to competing without upgrading the offensive line or receiving corps with their present draft slot. As Oehser further noted, if the Jaguars believe Foles is the answer then they should not expect to be sitting high in in the first round for a few years to come. Your opportunity to grab a premier quarterback may be a present truth.
Oehser makes a compelling point, one that mirrors what the Green Bay Packers did years ago when you still had Brett Favre on the roster but Aaron Rodgers fell to them. If you believe Haskins has the head for the NFL, but needs some bench time to transition considering his limited playing time at Ohio State, sitting behind Foles seems like an optimal scenario for the Jaguars.
Jacksonville, with its history of quarterback failures, might best be served to double down on the position. However, if 2018 was a season where the team was only a quarterback away from being back in the playoffs, then you solidify the pieces around Foles. Going offensive tackle or tight end was an interesting binary, but adding quarterback into the debate adds a deeper layer of complexity.
Obviously all of this is speculation, and news of how the Giants feel about Haskins could also be a sign they are looking to trade out of their slot, or it may create more motivation for teams to trade ahead of them. At the very least it gives us all something to talk about. For those who love Haskins in teal, it adds a few more logs to your fire.
Assuming Haskins is available at 7, and the Jaguars are fielding trade requests, what move would you make?
This poll is closed
Take Haskins and groom him for 2 to 3 years.
Shore up the offensive line to keep Foles protected for years to come.
Get Foles the premier pass catcher he needs.
Trade down and get BAP.
Trade down and grab one of the three stud TEs or WR. Maybe Butler or Fant.
Trade down and grab defensive depth. Maybe Gary or Wilkins.
Trade down and get a lineman. Maybe a Dillard or Lindstrom