It’s been two weeks so far into the NFL Preseason and we’ve gotten to see what some of this rookie class has to offer. While I’m normally one to give someone the benefit of the doubt and allow them time to develop into NFL talent, I figured it’s a good time to reflect on which rookies haven’t shown up yet. The reasons differ for each of them, with some not being able to find time on the field, and others simply haven’t lived up to the hype.
Dwayne Haskins – Washington Redskins
We’ll start off with my boy Dwayne Haskins (O-H!). The Redskins picked up Haskins in the 2019 NFL draft at number 15 hoping he could be the answer to their QB woes. While it looks like right now Case Keenum is being handed the starting gig, Haskins still has a pretty good shot at beating out Colt McCoy for the number two spot on the depth chart.
What’s the problem? Well, Haskins just hasn’t shown us enough. Haskins threw two interceptions in his preseason debut and went 7-for-14 in his second game. Yes, he did throw a monster 55-yard TD which was very impressive and is classic Haskins, but other than that his sample size is small and not very impressive.
In the grand scheme of things, this doesn’t mean a ton. Haskins is simply struggling to find his footing in the NFL after having just one season at Ohio State. Granted that season was record-breaking, but still, you would hope to see him settle in sooner rather than later. I’m still holding out hope for Haskins, I love the kid.
DK Metcalf – Seattle Seahawks
Seattle picked up one of the hottest receivers coming out of college with Metcalf. I don’t mean that he was necessarily the best receiver in college football, but he was definitely a topic of discussion after the photo surfaced of him looking like a Brinks truck in the gym. His role with the Seahawks became important because he’s a monster coming in at 6′ 4″ and even more so now that Doug Baldwin announced his retirement.
The problem? Metcalf fell on so many people draft boards because of his inability to correctly follow routes but also because he’s incredibly injury prone. We’re two weeks into the preseason and he is already getting knee surgery. Whether the surgery is minor or not is not the question, the fact is is that this kid needs as many reps as possible.
Metcalf is now going to have to shift his focus on recovering and learning on the fly. Right now he’s looking at a potential week one return but who knows if that will happen. Let’s hope this kid returns and returns as a monster.
Drew Lock – Denver Broncos
The Broncos QB room has been an absolute dumpster fire and revolving door that continues to turn as they picked up Drew Lock and veteran QB Joe Flacco. While a lot of talk surrounded the Flacco pickup, a lot of people saw Lock as a future franchise QB being such a talented passer.
So far this season Lock has had a lot of problems, the main ones being the most obvious one, his thumb sprain, but also the fact that he’s been having a lot of trouble separating himself from QB Kevin Hogan in the competition to see who will back up Flacco at quarterback. In my opinion, this proves why Lock dropped so far on many people’s draft boards, but in reality, it may just mean that Lock needs more reps. However, with the way he’s currently playing, he won’t see much playing time if and when Joe Flacco exits a game with an injury. It’s Hogan’s job to lose.
Will Grier – Carolina Panthers
Grier got taken in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft which sparked a lot of questions surrounding why they would take a QB that high with a franchise QB in Cam Newton. However, a lot of experts saw Grier as a highly sought after back up quarterback. I, myself, thought that Grier would be an excellent pickup for any NFL team as a starter but I’ve been wrong before and I’ll be wrong again.
The problem? Grier has started out the preseason as kind of a dud. He’s thrown two interceptions and is averaging 4.4 yards per throw. Very underwhelming, especially with the offensive stars that Carolina has. This start has been so slow that head coach Ron Rivera announced that Grier will be the third-string quarterback in the third preseason game coming up.
What this means is that we have a tough situation on our hands. While Grier had a very strong college career and could pan out very well, but some experts are predicting that Grier will be cut which is bananas to me. But then again, I’m not an expert so take this all with a grain of salt.
N’Keal Henry – New England Patriots
It’s weird to see the Patriots draft a wide receiver so high in the NFL Draft. They never do so! But with Gronk leaving it’s evident that they needed some receiving help for Brady. It’s easy to think that the Patriots wanted some immediate impact from the 32nd-overall pick in the draft.
The problem? Injuries. Harry caught two passes in his preseason thus far but has been battling hamstring, toe, and ankle injuries. Not something you want to hear from a young receiver. He has since been outplayed by undrafted receiver Jakobi Meyers, Julian Edelman and Thomas are now back, and Josh Gordon is back (for now) which means Harry is going to have a lot to battle in order to come back as he may find himself strictly in a situational role in New England. Let’s hope the rookie gets well soon and can start showcasing his talent for Belichick and Brady.