Today's Featured Video Analysis Dwayne Haskin's NFL Draft Profile.
NFL teams use an exurbanite amount of data to scout every player in the NFL Draft from their internal analytics, regional scouts and external resources such as Pro Football Focus (who is employed to provide critical data points to many if not all NFL teams and various Universities). I rank Pro Football Focus analysis with a higher weight because they have the resources to grade every play of every game using a universally known football scout grading system.
In the analysis below I am going to add my interpretation using the PFF analysis from the video above, NFL NexGen Stats (both external data points), and then I will include a snippet of our data to form a conclusion. The goal of this analysis is not to prove or disprove the data in the Pro Football Focus analysis; it is more of a road map on how to use multiple data points both external and internal.
Pro Football Focus Data Points
Pro Football Focus ranks Dwayne Haskin's number two among all QB's in the 2019 NFL draft. In the video above they cite the reasoning behind Haskin's ranking second to Kyler Murray. The visual below provides examples of Dwayne Haskin‘s strengths vs his weaknesse.
What do they mean by rhythm passer from a clean pocket?
A rhythm QB is a more traditional pocket style player who relies on footwork in the pocket and his progressions. In a west coast style or Air Coryell style offense the QB and the WR’s must be in rhythm with one another meaning if the QB is dropping three steps from under center, the designed WR route will be a quicker, shorter route such as a slant, stick, curl, or crossing route. Medium throws from under center may require a 4-5 step drop and some deeper throws from under center can use a 7 step drop. Rhythm and timing must be on point. Defenses who can effectively apply pressure against a rhythm based pass scheme will drastically reduce their opponents ability to move the football.
What do I mean by Progression? I'm glad you asked.
Every pass play has a progression that gives the QB anywhere from two reads or more. Some reads are only half of the field for example Curl; Flat refers to a two route combo ran to one side of the field or both sides allowing the QB to read both sides pre-snap so he can pre-determine where he wants to go with the ball. The Curl flat puts a defender usually an OLB into a conflict of whether to take the flat route or the underneath curl. If the OLB jumps the flat, the QB can throw the curl route or vice versa.
What does the above graphic mean by "does not create well out of structure?"
When you force Haskin's off of his spot in the pocket with pressure, his passer rating drops significantly. Haskin's is not a throw on the run QB like Kyler Murray who can create with his legs. The defenses who had any success against Dwayne Haskin's in 2018 would try to get pressure on him and force him off of his spot. Those who failed to apply pressure would be ground to dust and forever forgotten.
Haskin's 2018 completion percentage of 70.8% drops nearly in half when under pressure.
Haskin's Starting Experience
Haskin's has one year of starting QB experience at The Ohio State University and all of it from the shotgun. He will need to rep snaps from under center in the NFL which in today's football is the norm for all young QB’s who played in the shotgun throughout their time in college. One strength Haskin's will bring with him is his ability to run RPO concepts (Run, Pass, Option). (Something I am breaking down more thoroughly in the summer so stay tuned).
NFL NexGen Data Points
The average time to throw in the NFL is 2.5 seconds.
Haskin's will need to be surrounded by a good pass blocking offensive line and reliable route running WR’s. Haskin’s strength in the pocket is his ability to slide away from the pressure avoiding a defender, and the combination of good upper/lower body strength allows him to power through a throw when taking a hit. He can buy extra time in college, but in the NFL it will be vital for him to have solid OL protection, so he can move from progression 1, 2, or 3 etc. when needed.
Can Dwayne Haskin's become the next Tom Brady? Probably not but....
Example; According to NFL NexGen stats, Tom Brady during the 2018 season averaged 2.6 seconds to throw. The Patriots had one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. Once they entered the playoffs, Brady improved this metric to 2.33 seconds once teams schemed to move him off his spot with pressure. He had guys like Joey Bosa asking him to stop getting rid of the ball so fast.
Now I am not comparing Haskin's to The Goat (Tom Brady), but Brady is also a player who can be bothered by pressure but his strength is his ability to feel the pressure as if he has a clock embedded in his brain he can slide away from the pressure to buy time while keeping his base and throwing dimes with pinpoint accuracy. If Brady has to scramble away he is toast. Haskins needs to improve his accuracy when under pressure if he is going to succeed at the next level. Even if he only becomes a more consistent passer when sliding away from pressure and does not improve accuracy while on the run similar to Brady.
Brady epitomizes a statement former Browns GM Mike Lombardi Made about Mitch Trubisky before the 2017 NFL Draft.
Tom Brady can throw it through the keyhole, but when he is under heavy pressure, he becomes the guy who hits the doorknob which Is pretty damn good in the face of pressure. Haskin's has the intermediate passing ability to be the same type of player when under pressure, but unlike Brady, Haskin's under pressure sometimes becomes the guy who can only throw a ball through a door missing the knob entirely.
Football Scout 365 Data Points
Three game raw stats sample, Purdue, Penn State, Michigan
Let’s take a look at the three games that can provide some context of Haskin's strengths and weaknesses addressed in the Pro Football Focus Graphic above. beginning with a night game at Purdue in 2018 where Ohio State got thumped 49-20, their win over Michigan 62-39, and a narrow road win at Penn State 27-26.
Haskin's Stats vs Purdue (No full game video available so I settled on the written word)
Let’s begin with Haskin’s 2018 per game season averages and compare them to the game stats he produced in the three aforementioned contests.
Haskin's had 73 pass attempts in one game and handled the pressure by using his feet and sliding away, but the Purdue defensive coaches knew from film that if they moved him off his spot consistently it would drastically reduce his completion percentage. Purdue was able to reduce his completion rate by 3 percentage pts which may not sound like much but a few of those missed throws came in the red zone on third down forcing Ohio State to settle for 3 points rather than 6. The result of competitive games can be narrowed down to a handful of plays you either make or miss.
Example of Haskin's handling the pressure well against Purdue.
Here is an example of Haskin's stepping into the teeth of the pressure delivering a dime to a crossing (mesh) (14) K.J. Hill. The pre-snap motion by Hill allowed Haskin's to ID the Man coverage on K.J. Hill. Because of the motion, Haskin's was able to make a pre-snap read of where he was going to throw the ball.
Pressure on Haskin's vs Penn State was a blueprint for Purdue two weeks prior.
Two weeks prior to the Purdue game Penn State drew up a blueprint on how to attack the Ohio State offense. The key is to get pressure with 4, or 5 defenders and drop everyone else back into zone coverage. This resulted in a lower yards per attempt average as referenced in our above raw stats graphic. The zone forced Haskin's to take the shorter underneath throws. Both Penn State and Purdue forced Ohio State to play the long game (bend but don't break). When the field shortened they would apply more pressure and force Ohio State into kicking field goals. They could not stop Haskin's completely, but they discovered a way to contain him.
Time for another Gif.
Haskin's facing a 3rd down and 8 at his own 43 (2nd Qtr 9:37 mark). Penn State rushes four with all other defenders dropping into coverage. They get pressure on Haskin's, and he powers through the grip of number 99 (3 tech DT) which displays the strength he has, but because he is rushed and moved off of his spot laterally, he throws an inaccurate pass. Haskin's can make these types of throws as referenced in the Purdue gif above but the consistency must improve when under pressure. NFL teams will scheme against him the same way with better athletes and until he improves his consistency in this area defenses will continue to attack him the same way. See the two gifs below. Both are the same play.
continuation of same play where gif 1 left off.
When the Ohio State run game struggles so does the offense.
Purdue held Ohio State to 76 yards rushing, forcing the Buckeyes into 3rd down and medium, or long situations. The lack of a run game also forced Ohio State into 3rd down and obvious pass situations allowing Purdue to sit back in a zone and force Haskin's to take what they give him. Purdue, like Penn State played zone defense keeping the Ohio State athletes underneath and limiting yards after catch. Just like the Penn State game, Purdue forced Ohio State to drive the length of the field applying more pressure in the red zone forcing field goals. Haskin's did miss a few open deep balls in this game when under pressure that if completed could have changed the entire complexion of the final outcome.
Here is an excerpt from Land Grant Holy Land that provides a breakdown summing up how the Purdue defense was able to hold Haskin's at bay by bending between the 20's and tightening up in the red zone.
“When you get close to the end zone, you gotta get points to show for it. Ohio State had four trips inside the Purdue 20, and only pulled out six measly points. While two field goals aren’t the end of the world, squandering opportunities that close to paydirt is pretty close to it in football terms.
Giving credit where credit is due, Boilermaker cornerback Antonio Blackmon broke up not one, but two TD throws in the end zone. Combine that with a missed field goal and a turnover on downs at the 2-yard line, and OSU left at least 20 points on the table.”
Haskin's Stats vs. Michigan
Now for the Michigan analysis where Haskin's carves up the “live by the sword, die by the sword“ Don Brown man defense.
396 Yards, 6 TD’s, 0 Int, 31 pass attempts, 64% completion rate, 12.5 yards per pass attempt, 0 sack Mesh Crossing routes v. man coverage exploited Michigan’s top 5 defense.
The Mesh Concept (A staple in the Ryan Day Offense)
In the above gif, you will see how Ohio State attacked Michigan’s man coverage underneath using a mesh concept. Ohio State lines up with trips to the boundary side of the field (short side right hash).
The receiver that Haskin's will target is lined up in the right inside slot position closest to the line (on the trips side). The single side receiver (victor) lined up at the bottom (field side), will come from the bottom of your screen on a crossing route creating a mesh in the middle of the field. The two receivers should cross at a distance close enough to touch hands.
Wait, What is a Mesh again?
Mesh routes are designed to exploit man coverage. The Mesh route is effective against a zone coverage but slightly more complicated because one of the two mesh routes would need to find an opening in the zone. Ohio State would have zero issues because Michigan is a man a first defense.
Michigan did not watch the Purdue tape. Michigan's defensive coordinator Don Brown admitted that he believed that his defensive talent could match Ohio States offensive speed equally and that was not the case. Michigan wanted to exploit Dwayne Haskin's lower efficiency rate when under pressure but the Ohio State offensive line did not allow a single sack or pressure against one of the nations top defensive lines.
Dwayne Haskin's has the intangibles to be a good NFL QB if paired with the right team.
According to PFF Haskins's can flourish in the NFL if his protection is solid more often than not. Haskin's can move in the pocket but must improve his accuracy when on the move. While at Ohio State he was surrounded by athletes such as WR Parris, Campbell (4.3 speed), WR Terry Mclaurin (4.3 speed), and two 1000 yard RB's (Dobbins, Weber). He will need to be drafted by an NFL team that has the same intangibles.
NFL GM’s use multiple data points to make their personnel decisions. When you are analyzing the NFL draft, you can find thousands of opinions and varying analysis. The key to an NFL team’s ability to draft the right personnel to fit their scheme is reliant on the data points they employ, the accuracy of the data, and the scout's ability to analyze a player’s on-field intangibles, (scheme fit). The quality of the data and its interpretation will decide the future fate of the GM, Coach and the organizational success or lack thereof.