That much was clear when Smith delivered a dumbfounding take (which also happened to be dumb) on Haskins during ESPN’s “First Take” on Friday morning.
“Haskins is no joke as well. I know he’s bigger,” Smith said when comparing Haskins to Kyler Murray.
That checks out. Haskins, 6-foot-3, is taller than Murray, listed at 5-foot-10. Strong stuff, Mr. Smith.
“He can make all the requisite throws on the NFL level,” Smith said.
Probably true. Though, if it were definitely true, he would be the likely No. 1 overall pick. And Haskins is not. For now, he’s projected to go in the top 15. So we’ve waded into the territory of arguable but not unreasonable.
Please, go on, Stephen.
“He played for more of a big program at Ohio State,” Smith said.
“I just find him to be more of a runner than a thrower,” Smith said. “I could be wrong about that, but that’s what I find.”
You are wrong about that.
We have, indeed, diverged from the truth in a big way. In his final college season, Haskins completed 70 percent of his passes for 4,831, 50 touchdown passes and eight interceptions. On his career he has just 194 rushing yards.
You’re thinking: Well, maybe Smith just watched Haskins’ most recent game. Against the Washington Huskies in the Rose Bowl, Haskins rushed for -14 yards while throwing for 251 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. In fact, Haskins’ inability to move in the pocket proved problematic, as he took three sacks in the Buckeyes’ 28-23 win.
Smith has managed plenty of bizarre and bold takes in his “First Take” career. He and his yelling partner Max Kellerman stir up controversy around sports, like it’s their job (because it’s their job). But this is a different brand of lunacy — it appears to be ignorance, not unlike…
- what Smith said when analyzing the matchup between tight end Hunter Henry and linebacker Derrick Johnson in December. (At the time, Henry was on injured reserve and Johnson was a free agent.)
- what Smith said about Kareem Hunt playing in the AFC championship. (Hunt, at the time, had been released by the Chiefs, who would play in the AFC championship without him.)
- and what Smith said about the top five quarterbacks in the 2019 playoffs, which did not include Drew Brees, one of the most prolific quarterbacks of all time.
Alas, perhaps Smith still wins, because I’m writing about him and you’re reading about him, so he’s never been more relevant.