Much like Dwayne Haskins' play through training camp, the quarterback's preseason debut was an up-and-down affair.
Haskins' first pass was a beauty. Off play-action, the QB rolled out right and found reciever Darvin Kidsy for 27 yards. His second pass was a bullet high toward the right sideline. His third was a gorgeous toss up the sideline, where Haskins used his pinpoint accuracy to thread it deep to Kidsy 32 yards downfield. Unfortunately, the wideout fumbled after the catch. Despite the turnover, it was a good start for Haskins.
Then the down came.
Haskins then took a sack to kill the next drive.
The rookie appeared to find a groove on his fourth drive, scrambling to avoid a sack a couple of times for good gains, and dinking and dunking his way down the field. In the two-minute drill, Haskins made a perfect strike to Kidsy for 16 yards, putting it in the only spot his wideout could corral the ball.
As he was going up, Haskins crashed back down.
His next pass after hitting Kidsy, Haskins tossed another interception. The play could have been miscommunication or a ball that sailed on the QB, but with three Browns DBs surrounding his target, it was an ill-fated throw.
Haskins flashed his big arm, very accurate on short throws, and better elusiveness than draft evaluators suggested. The Redskins even used the supposedly immobile QB in a zone-read play in which he kept the ball for an 8-yard gain. With a troubled offensive line in front of him, the rookie took two sacks, but was able to avoid several more, including an impressive play, spinning out of a sack, rolling left, keeping his eyes downfield, and unleashing a rocket that was almost a spectacular touchdown but deflected off his receiver's hands.
Haskins finished 8-of-14 passing for 117 yards and 2 INTs for a 44.9 QB rating in six drives, leading just one to a field goal.
As we heard throughout training camp, Haskins' tools were on display Thursday night, but he still has strides to make mentally and in consistency. His surrounding pieces in this game also didn't aid the rookie much.
Haskins needs reps like Thursday night versus a live defense to grow quickly. We should see him plenty more as the preseason progresses and the rookie tries to convince coach Jay Gruden his talent will outweigh the mental flubs, and he deserves the starting gig.