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Calling Out ESPN, Volume 2: Stephen A Smith on Dwayne Haskins

Stephen A Smith from ESPN’s First Take called out Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins. In comparison to Oklahoma quarterback and fellow first-round prospect Kyler Murray, this is what Smith’s take was on the matter:

Haskins is no joke. He is bigger [than Murray]. He can make all the requisite throws on the NFL level. He played for a big-time program at Ohio State. I just find him to be more of a runner than a thrower.”

Smith went on to say:

“Haskins is big time. And I’m not saying he CAN’T pass. But I view him the way I view him. Just an eye-test thing. I’m not talking statistically.

This is a very bold take from Smith himself, even for him. The fact that this is not from stats of the game but solely on how Smith sees him as a quarterback just makes this more ridiculous. Look at film on Haskins and you can clearly see that he got labeled a first-round talent and one of the more NFL-ready quarterbacks in this year draft because of one thing: his passing ability. Haskins may make plays with his legs, but he is not a dual-threat quarterback. He runs when he has to, not because he wants to. His size, throwing ability and accuracy is what makes him a good quarterback. Compared to Kyler Murray, it is like comparing Aaron Rodgers (a pocket passer) to Lamar Jackson (a scrambler). They are two completely different players with two different styles.

The part where Smith tried to save face by saying that he isn’t “talking statistically” just harms his statement. If Smith isn’t looking at stats, then what exactly is he looking at? Unlike Stephen, let’s just take a look at those stats. Haskins ran a total of 73 times this entire season for just 122 yards and four touchdowns. Compared to his 496 pass attempts for 4,580 and an NCAA-leading 50 passing touchdowns, that looks more like a quarterback who runs when passing isn’t an option and he only runs in short-bursts, as his average is just 1.7 yards.

Now, look at Kyler Murray, who Smith said Haskins was a better runner than. Murray had just 377 passing attempts, more than a hundred less than Haskins. He threw for 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns. These stats are too far off from Haskins, but what stands out is the rushing stats: 140 carries for 1,001 yards and 12 touchdowns.

It IS a statistical thing because that is all you need to look at to end this debate. Murray is a 1,000-yard runner and has three times more rushing touchdowns than Haskins. You just said that he can make all the throws needed to make it in the NFL, but then you insult the man by saying he is more of a runner. Quite contradicting if you ask me. End of discussion. I agree with the public that Smith has been slipping this year and getting more and more absurd. This was just embarrassing on his part. Take a sabbatical Smith or you may find yourself being scrutinized again shortly.

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