Stephen A. Smith needs a second take on Dwayne Haskins Jr.
The “First Take” host delivered another shockingly misinformed answer when he weighed in on the question “Are you taking (Kyler) Murray or Haskins?” in the NFL draft on ESPN.
“I know that he’s bigger, he can make all the requisite throws on the NFL level,” Smith said on Friday about Haskins. “He played for a big time program at Ohio State. I just find him to be more of a runner than a thrower. I could be wrong about that but that’s what I find.”
Yes, Stephen A., you could be wrong. Very wrong.
Haskins is the consensus top-rated quarterback in the draft after a spectacular sophomore season for the Buckeyes. But the 6-3, 220-pound signalcaller earned his lofty draft status thanks to his arm, not his feet.
He completed 70 percent of his throws for 4,831 yards passing last season for the 13-1 Buckeyes. He threw for a staggering 50 touchdowns to just 8 interceptions and averaged more than nine yards per passing attempt.
As for his running game, he averaged just over a yard per carry – something he only did 79 times for 108 yards. His 40-yard dash time is a solid 4.7, per ESPN.
Ohio State teammate Dre’Mont Jones had a little fun at Smith’s expense.
“WHAT!? If Dwayne slow a$$ was a running QB we would have been 1-13 instead of 13-1,” the defensive lineman tweeted.
Haskins joined the conversation.
“Still faster than you Dre.”
He then added: “Run or throw Ima still win the game.”
Smith defended himself in a series of tweets:
“Why? Because I believe what I believe? I know Haskins is a baller. That he threw for 50 TD’s last year. But I view his athleticism as more of a plus (I.e. scrambling outside the pocket, etc.) I don’t view him as an ideal pocket passer, nor the runner than Kyler is. Period!
“Haskins is bigtime. I know this. And I’m not saying he CAN’T pass. But I view him the way I view him. Just an eye-test thing. Im not talking statistically. Make of it what you will.”
Smith blamed a “brain lock” back in December when he made a series of embarrassing gaffes while breaking down a Thursday night Chiefs-Chargers game. His game analysis included hyping a matchup featuring a player who had suffered a torn ACL before the season started (Hunter Henry) and a guy who had been cut during the offseason (Derrick Johnson).