CLEVELAND — Will first-year starter Dwayne Haskins return to The Ohio State University for his junior season or forgo his final two years of college eligibility and enter the 2019 NFL Draft?
That is one of the main questions looming over the sixth-ranked Buckeyes as they prepare to take on the ninth-ranked Washington Huskies in the 2019 Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, on January 1, and Ryan Wilson of CBSSports.com believes that if Haskins leaves, he may be the only quarterback selected in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
“As it stands, Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins, who was given a first-round grade by the advisory board last week, could be the only quarterback to hear his name called in Round 1 — and this assumes he doesn’t return to college either,” Wilson wrote.
Wilson went on to say that Haskins “stands to make a lot more money by coming out now” because the 2020 NFL Draft class is expected to be rich with quarterbacks.
Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) throws a pass against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, on November 24, 2018.
Earlier this month, Wilson said that “Haskins might have the most upside of any quarterback in this class, and his 4,500 passing yards and a 70.0 completion percentage only make him more attractive to quarterback-needy NFL teams,” and that he could be “the best option” for the Jacksonville Jaguars should they move on from former first-round pick Blake Bortles in the offseason.
On the way to Big Ten Championship Game Most Valuable Player honors, Haskins completed 34 of his 41 pass attempts for 499 yards and five touchdowns against one interception. Although primarily a pocket passer, Haskins rushed the ball 10 times against the Wildcats.
Haskins’ 34 completions, 41 attempts, 499 yards and five passing touchdowns set new Big Ten Championship Game records.
The 499 yards were a single-game personal best for Haskins, who has eclipsed the 300-yard mark nine times and the 400-yard plateau on five occasions, including two of the last three games, and just missed the latter with a 396-yard showing against the Michigan Wolverines on November 24.
Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) rushes in the second half against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Haskins had a record-setting season in 2018, as he completed 348 of his 496 attempts (70.2 percent) for 4,580 yards and 47 touchdowns against just eight interceptions. Additionally, Haskins has rushed for four touchdowns this season.
A first-year starter after sitting behind record-setting signal-caller J.T. Barrett for two seasons, Haskins was the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, Quarterback of the Year and the Offensive Player of the Week a record six times in 2018.
Among the records Haskins set in 2018 were the touchdowns responsible for (51) and total offensive yards (4,702).