The Dolphins face the Redskins on Sunday for the first time in four years, and the only time for the next four.
So when Washington and Miami next battle in 2023, we will have far more information on Dwayne Haskins, and if the Dolphins were smart to pass on him at 13 in April’s draft.
The team extensively studied the Ohio State star last season and throughout the spring. General manager Chris Grier watched him throw in person both at the Michigan game in November and Ohio State’s pro day months later.
But with a need at quarterback and Haskins on the board at 13, the Dolphins passed, and instead selected defensive lineman Christian Wilkins.
How that decision plays out — and whether the Dolphins can land a better quarterback in next year’s draft — will go a long way in determining Grier’s legacy in Miami.
“Very talented, big arm,” Dolphins coach Brian Flores said. “He had a great year. Just a talented player, a very talented player. I’ve watched a lot of his film. We may or may not see him this week. We’ll get ready for everyone. He’s got a bright future ahead of him.”
Interim Redskins coach Bill Callahan would not say who will start for Washington against Miami — it could be Haskins, Colt McCoy or an injured Case Keenum — but did not rule out going with the rookie. Haskins has appeared in just one game this season, throwing three interceptions in a Week 4 blowout loss to the Giants. NFL Network reports the Redskins are expected to start Keenum, but could always make a change if he is ineffective.
“I think Dwayne’s made some real strides in his game,” Callahan said. “He’s picked up from where he was in the Giant game. I think it was a good learning lesson for him. I think it was a good experience for him. I think he learned a lot. He might not have had the success we wanted him to, but he’s really, really learned quite a lot from that game, and any time a rookie gets on the field in the NFL, it’s an invaluable learning experience.”
Reading between the lines, it would be a shock if Haskins starts. Callahan seems to have the same plan for Haskins as Jay Gruden did before his termination: Take it slow.
“It’s going to take some time,” Callahan said. “We’re in no rush to put him on the field. That’s been stated pretty early when Jay was here. We weren’t rushing to put him on the field. We had injuries to the quarterback position. It kind of forced Jay’s hand to play him in the game. He’s got to be ready. Who knows? He could play on Sunday. You never know.”
Haskins’ natural talent is there, but it’s fair to say that Grier had a higher opinion of this year’s class of quarterbacks, which includes Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow.
And there’s been no indication yet he was wrong. Will that still be the case in four years? We’ll see.