Gruden impressed with Dwayne Haskins: He can spin it

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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Sure to couch his compliments with the reality of just what rookie minicamp is -- the very beginning, just the basics, no pads, etc. -- Jay Gruden spoke of plenty of positives when running down rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

"We're at the very bare minimum right now, but very impressed by his skillset for sure. Can really spin it," Gruden told the media Saturday following the second day of Washington Redskins rookie minicamp. "He's just a big, solid, fundamentally sound guy. He's just a big presence in there and the ball just jumps off his hand. He also has the ability to speed it up and he has great touch, as well, for some of the short balls.

"He's displayed that he can make, in this short period of time, all the throws. ... He's kind of displayed a little bit everything these two days."

Gruden and the Redskins selected Haskins, fresh off throwing 50 touchdowns in his final season at Ohio State, with the 15th pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. It was widely speculated that Haskins was Washington's top choice at QB and would possibly trade up. The Redskins stayed put and still got Haskins.

Just two days into Redskins practices and the match seems all the more meant to be following Gruden's compliments.

Nevertheless, Gruden was emphatic that the starting quarterback spot was up for grabs between Haskins, last season's backup Colt McCoy and Case Keenum, who Washington traded Denver to acquire.

"We're going to go at it, throw the ball out there and let these guys compete," Gruden said. "I think [Haskins] obviously displayed enough of a skillset to warrant the 15th pick in the draft and to give him an opportunity to see how far he can take this thing."

There's still plenty for Haskins to work on, from the basics on up. Gruden cited breaking the huddle and getting guys lined up all the way to progression and footwork.

"It's just a lot you're throwing at him," Gruden said. "It's a long process, but he's a bright guy, he's wanting to work at it and he will work at it. And I was impressed."

So a quarterback competition will be under way, but just that quickly, Haskins has made a phenomenal first impression on his new coach. To say the least, he's definitely turning the right heads.

"I think he's made some throws," Gruden said, "that make you turn your head without a doubt."

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