NCAA Football Player Profile – Deshaun Watson, Quarterback
Deshaun Watson along with most of the 2017 quarterback class has question marks around him as to whether or not anyone drafting him really knows what they are getting. A lot of experts say Watson may not get drafted in the first round which if you ask me is absurd to hear. Watson has a lot of talent and has proven to be everything Clemson wanted when they recruited the #1 QB in the 2014 recruiting class. Watson doesn’t have the elite arm that quarterbacks like Tom Brady or Drew Brees have, but he has enough good traits and possess the skills you need to be drafted in the first round. Along with those traits, there’s also quite a few teams who need a QB and it only takes one scout to fall in love with a prospect and I think there is a lot to like about him. It’ll be tough for another team who has significant interest in him to look the other way considering how successful of a collegiate career he’s had.
Two things that really stick out when watching him play at Clemson were his unbelievable athleticism and his awareness. He senses pressure and gets out of trouble. He’s got great mobility and being able to avoid sacks will automatically put any team that drafts him in games. A team facing 2nd down may be less concerned about him getting sacked and it becoming a 3rd and very long which is tough for NFL QBs to do. Watson knows how to use his legs to make big plays, he keeps his team in games and it’ll help his draft stock.
All that being said if you throw Watson into the fire in a place like Cleveland he will 100% be a bust. The Browns have nothing going on either end of the ball to support Watson in his development. He’s had a down year this season and has some concerns nearing the end of his college career. For starters he needs to learn to handle an NFL huddle, his footwork, and not staring down his receiver. He also had a tendency to overthrow the ball, but the good news is he can make all the throws asked of him, but must be more consistent when doing so in order to be successful in the NFL.
- Great character
- Good work ethic
- Can take big hits (toughness)
- Can beat opponents with his arms and legs
- Difficult to sack
- Not scared to throw the ball down field
- Proven he can win games under pressure
- Field vision
- Doesn’t always have good ball placement
- Needs to work on footwork
- Can sometimes overthrow his receivers
- Stares down his targets
- Must learn an NFL-pro style offense
- Needs to get bigger and strong in the NFL
- Plays he ran in college, he won’t ever use in NFL
There are teams that could use someone of his talent such as the 49ers, Bears, Jets, and the Redskins (if Kirk Cousins decides to sign elsewhere). Sure Watson is no sure fire A+ prospect, but neither are Mitch Trubisky, DeShore Kizer, Davis Webb, and so forth. No matter what way you look at these QB prospects have questions surrounding them. Is he going to be the next Andrew Luck or Russell Wilson? Probably not, he needs time to develop, but I would like to build around him because he knows how to keep his team in games with his legs. That’s why I believe a team should pull the trigger on Watson. He’s a gamble, but the reward is there.
Draft projection: 1st round
Comparison: Michael Vick (Eagles)