INDIANAPOLIS — Dwayne Haskins sounds like a New York Giants quarterback. Confident but not brash. Invested but not obsessed. Friendly but not overly familiar.
He also looks like a Giants quarterback. Big and sturdy.
Whether he comes aboard and moves in as Eli Manning’s eventual successor is a determination that will be made in the coming weeks leading up to the NFL draft. There does not seem to be any question what Haskins wants to see happen.
“Growing up in New Jersey, I grew up a Giants fan, so it would be a dream come true going back home where my family is and play for that great franchise,’’ Haskins said Friday at the NFL scouting combine. “There are a lot of really great skill players, so either way it happens throughout this process, I’m just going to be happy to be in the NFL. New York, of course, would be a great spot for me.’’
Unlike other quarterbacks at this event in past years, Haskins did not make a case he should be the No. 1 pick in the draft or even the first quarterback off the board. He did not back away from the impact he believes he can make or the standard he feels he can set. He just did not thrust himself above anyone else.
“I’m going to do what I need to do in meetings and out on the field to showcase my talents,’’ said Haskins, who planned to meet Friday night with the Giants’ contingent. “I know I’m a franchise quarterback and can be a really great quarterback in the NFL.’’
But what about being the first quarterback taken the night of April 25?
“It’s not that important for me,’’ he said. “For me it’s about being with the right franchise, being with the right team and win a Super Bowl. Whether I’m the first quarterback taken, it’s all a blessing, regardless of where I’m going or what pick it is per se.
“I feel like I’m a top quarterback. I just have to do what I do. I’m not trying to spin it. It speaks for itself.’’
Haskins, 21, could not have done more in his one and only year as a starter at Ohio State. As a redshirt sophomore, he completed 70 percent of his passes and set Big Ten records for passing yards (4,831) and touchdowns (50). The last college quarterback to throw 50 touchdown passes in a season was Sam Bradford for Oklahoma in 2008.
The downside with Haskins is there are just 14 starts to study and, though he has good size (6-3 ³/₈ and 231 pounds), he is not very mobile. He ran the ball 79 times last season and averaged just 1.4 yards per attempt. He is a pocket passer with a powerful arm; the Giants must figure out whether he can be special.
Haskins does not think much of those who question his mobility. He actually laughed out loud when asked about it.
“I can maneuver if I need to, but I’m deadly in the pocket,’’ he said. “So that’s all I feel about it.’’
Kyler Murray, the Heisman Trophy winner from Oklahoma (Haskins finished third in the voting), proclaimed, “I’m doing nothing. I’m just doing interviews.’’ The quarterbacks are on the field Saturday, but Murray will not run or throw, saving himself for his Pro Day in Norman, Okla.
“That’s the timeline me and my family, my agent, coaches, felt was best,’’ Murray said.
Haskins will do it all.
“I’m not worried about it,’’ Haskins said. “I know I’m going to do well in the interviews I’ve done so far and I’m going to throw really well. So I’m just looking forward to showing I’m the best quarterback in the class.’’
There are times a quarterback does not want to hurt his draft stock, so he opts not to throw. This is not one of those times.
“I’ve been throwing for 11-plus years,’’ he said. “That’s all I do.’’
Haskins grew up in Highland Park, NJ, before his family moved to suburban Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC. He recalled going to Nets games when Jason Kidd was the point guard, seeing Giants games and rooting for Jeremy Shockey and Tiki Barber and attending a football camp run by Amani Toomer.
If Haskins is taken by the Giants and his role is to serve as a backup and learn from Manning, he said, “I’m comfortable enough to be able to learn from someone that’s been there in front of me.’’
Manning is heading into a 16th year as the face of the franchise. This is not a role Haskins takes lightly.
“It means a lot,’’ he said. “Being the face of the franchise, everyone is watching you, you are the face of the team. When a team looks at you, you’re the first one that comes up. You have to be able to lead other men. It’s a lot of responsibility.’’
Is he ready?
“Without a doubt,’’ he said.
Source: Read Full Article