The Washington Football Team is no stranger to controversy, especially when it comes to quarterbacks. After Wednesday’s latest news at the signal-caller spot, CBS Sports has projected Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields to Washington in the 2021 NFL Draft.
On Wednesday, head coach Ron Rivera announced that 2019 first-round pick Dwayne Haskins was being benched and demoted to third-string just days after he finished his best game of the season. In the effort against the Baltimore Ravens, the second-year quarterback completed 71% of his passes for 314 yards and no interceptions as his team fell 31-1 at home.
“This is not an indictment on Dwayne as much as an indictment on the situation and circumstances that we’re in,” Rivera said on the decision. “He did not have the benefit of OTAs and minicamp, he didn’t have the benefit of four preseason games to work through things. And because of that, he’s behind in his development in this system. And again, it’s an unfortunate situation. But as we go through the first four games and look at them and break them down … It’s just one of those things that he needs more time.”
While Rivera insists the switch to Kyle Allen as the starter is a short-term measure for the sake of Haskin’s long-term development, the substitution has only opened the door to speculation. Is this the last we’ve seen of Dwayne Haskins? Who will be Washington’s quarterback of the future?
Well-timed to the news, CBS Sports released its latest 2021 Mock Draft. In their update, the Washington Football Team finally grabs “the guy” at quarterback with the No. 3 overall pick by selecting Justin Fields out of Ohio State.
“Things aren’t looking good for Dwayne Haskins’ future in Washington,” CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso wrote. “Regardless of its fairness to Haskins, I fully expect the front office to look for a franchise quarterback in the 2021 draft.”
Justin Fields has yet to take the field this season, but that changes later this month when he’ll have the chance to remind fans of his talent as a dual-threat quarterback. The junior signal-caller is coming off a terrific 2019 campaign where he threw for 3,273 yards and 41 touchdowns. He also added 484 yards on the ground.
Coincidentally, Fields assumed the reins at OSU after Haskins’ departure from Columbus. After redshirting as a true freshman in 2016, Haskins served as JT Barrett’s back-up the next year, where he played in eight games that season and threw for 565 yards and four touchdowns.
Haskins won the starting job over Joe Burrow the following spring and proceeded to put together a record-setting year. In 2018, Haskins threw for 4,831 yards and 50 touchdowns.
When Haskins elected to declare for the NFL Draft after that year, there was some trepidation about him due to starting for only one season in college. That was reflected when Haskins fell to Washington in the 2019 NFL Draft, coming off the board after Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray and Duke’s Daniel Jones.