There isn’t much direct access to teams around this time of year—certainly nothing for the casual fan to see on the field outside of a scant few clips here and there—so we are beholden to whatever the beat writers give us until the time comes that we can get our eyes in training camp.
Sometimes the beat writers disagree with one another. From what I’ve seen, though, there is a general consensus on new Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins through mandatory minicamp, which is simply that he has not made much of an impression. Mark Kaboly was the latest to weigh in on what he saw from the former first-round pick.
“Besides a pretty strong arm, well, there wasn’t much to sink your teeth into”, he wrote for The Athletic. “Nothing I saw from Haskins over the past month suggested he has a legitimate chance of supplanting Mason Rudolph at No. 2 let alone pushing Roethlisberger if things get really bad by the end of the season”.
“And remember, this was set up in the way for Haskins to shine, as he didn’t have to make quick decisions or read defenses”, he added. “The best-case scenario is to get him right mentally, learn the offense, work with Canada and quarterbacks coach Matt Sullivan and potentially push Rudolph for a starting job next year if Roethlisberger retires. I think everybody involved would take that”.
Drafted 15th overall by the Washington Football Team in 2019 out of Ohio State, Haskins has a 3-10 record as a starter over two years. He has completed 267 of 444 passes for 2,804 yards with 12 touchdowns to 14 interceptions, rather unremarkable numbers.
Already on his second head coach last year, he was waived at the end of last season, and nobody claimed him. The Steelers opted to kick his tires, signing him to a Reserve/Future contract in January, a deal that included no signing bonus, and thus no guaranteed money.
Later on in the offseason, Pittsburgh opted to re-sign Joshua Dobbs, giving them a fourth arm. Haskins is in a position in which he will have to compete to make the 53-man roster, yet he is supposed to have the talent to be a future franchise quarterback.
Ideally, a player with that sort of ability would relatively easily separate himself from others like Rudolph or Dobbs, and the fact that according to the opinions of multiple beat writers he hasn’t so far is not very encouraging.
But it’s also a very limited and brief window into the process that may well only be partially accurate at best. The 24-year-old still has every opportunity to make the most out of his opportunities, and to show others that he is capable of being a franchise quarterback, even if he wasn’t turning heads in minicamp except with the strength of his arm.