The sight would have been a familiar one for Ohio State fans who watched Dwayne Haskins throw for 50 touchdowns last season, 10 of which were pulled in by Terry McLaurin. Washington Redskins faithful will hope to see plenty of it as soon as possible.
McLaurin beat a defensive back off the line of scrimmage Saturday, and Haskins lobbed a perfect ball 25 yards for a score in the back corner of the end zone. The throw and catch may have been the highlight of Day 2 of rookie minicamp as the Redskins opened their doors to media members and select fans who poured into the team’s indoor practice facility to catch a glimpse of the newest quarterback. The number of media members in attendance was believed to be the most for a rookie practice since Robert Griffin III was selected with the No. 2 pick in 2012.
Haskins, the No. 15 overall pick, looked like a rookie in his second official practice but showed the promise that made him the third quarterback drafted last month. There were a couple pretty completions to McLaurin, his Ohio State teammate and current roommate, during one-on-one drills, but he was later picked off by Vaughnte Dorsey when he stared down the receiver and threw deep into double coverage. The connection between Haskins and McLaurin was obvious, but the other receivers and the quarterback are still getting to know each other.
“Yesterday he had a great day; today the defense played a little better,” coach Jay Gruden said. “It’s just matter of progression right now and installation. We’re at the bare minimum right now but very impressed with his skill set. Can really spin it.
“It’s been a treat. He’s made some throws that turn your head, without a doubt. ... He’s just a big, solid, fundamentally sound guy. He’s just a big presence in there. The ball jumps off his hand. He also has the ability to speed it up, and he has great touch as well. ... He’s displayed that he can make, in this short period of time, all the throws.”
Haskins said he only has about 20 percent of the playbook at the moment and knows things will get better with time, film study and repetition. The ball placement, touch and arm strength were all visible, but he was inconsistent and had timing issues with new teammates. The 6-foot-3, 231-pounder looked the part and had an air of confidence in a gold jersey with the burgundy No. 7, white and black Air Jordan 1 cleats, burgundy shorts and a white long-sleeved shirt and leggings underneath the uniform.
“Once I understand the playbook and understand what I’m looking at, it’ll be easy as far as the timing and where the ball needs to go,” Haskins said. “I’ll be ready for whatever the coaches want from me, whether that’s starting right away or next year or during the season.
“I’m going to prepare like I’m the starter. That’s me in the weight room, me in the meeting rooms. ... Every opportunity for me is an opportunity for me to showcase that I’m the guy.”