Dwayne Haskins: 'I'd have no problem' backing up Eli

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  • By Adam Maya NFL.com
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Mock drafts have been all over the map for quarterback Dwayne Haskins. And so have his visits. He's met with the New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders in recent weeks.

One popular projection early on was Haskins to the Giants, who hold both the No. 6 and 17 overall picks. After starting just one season in college, albeit a Heisman-finalist campaign, Haskins said he has no preference on when or where he's drafted and that he'd relish the opportunity to begin his career alongside an established veteran QB.

"Eli Manning is a legend. I grew up watching Eli and I'd have no problem sitting behind him and learning from him, like how I did with J.T. [Barrett] at Ohio State," Haskins told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport on the RapSheet and Friends podcast. "Whatever team drafts me, I'll be able to sit back and learn from the guy that's there and be able to compete with him and push him, but know that a guy's there because he's a veteran, he's done it before, he's professional.

"And I want to be in that guy's shoes one day, so I'm more than willing to learn from the greats."

Haskins has already gotten a head start in that regard. His pre-draft meetings have included time with storied signal callers John Elway, Dan Marino and Doug Williams. And Kobe Bryant.

Yes, the Ohio State quaretrback trained with the basketball legend at the Mamba Sports Academy in California in pursuit of expanding his leadership skills. Haskins said he especially wanted to learn more about using a voice that differed from his "player-friendly" approach.

"He's definitely a guy that brings a lot to the table as far as how he trains, how he prepares and what he expects out of his teammates. Very, very demanding," Haskins said of Bryant. "... And I want to be able to have that other tool, being able to have that edge that Kobe had. Of course, I play like that, but I'd be able to lead like that. That's why I studied Kobe."

One thing Haskins hasn't been studying is where draft pundits peg him among the other top quarterbacks. He confirmed that he won't even be in attendance for the draft, which begins next Thursday in Nashville, Tenn., instead choosing to take in the special occasion from his home in Maryland.

"I can't look at that stuff. It drives me crazy," Haskins said. "But the biggest thing is, I just got to control what I can control and keep getting better every day, and I feel like I can be a Hall of Fame quarterback and win a whole bunch of Super Bowls. ...

"But I have room to grow and I'm just going to continue getting better and not necessarily worry about what guys are ranked ahead of me or what guys are ranked behind me, because I'm going to be one of the best. So that's all I'm focused on right now."

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