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2017 NFL Draft Profile: Clemson QB Deshaun Watson

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Why the nation’s best player will add value to several NFL franchises.

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Deshaun Watson Career Stats

Season Games Attempts Completions Comp Pct Yards TD INT Rushes Yards TD
Season Games Attempts Completions Comp Pct Yards TD INT Rushes Yards TD
2016 15 579 388 67.0% 4593 41 17 165 629 9
2015 15 491 333 67.8% 4104 35 13 207 1105 12
2014 8 137 93 67.9% 1466 14 2 63 200 5

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 211 lbs.

40 Yard Dash: 4.66

There has been quite a bit of debate over who the first quarterback taken in the NFL Draft should be. I’ve heard just about every gut-wrenching argument against Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson as humanly possible; so now let’s get real.

Deshaun Watson is without a doubt the most NFL ready quarterback in this draft. If nothing else helps his case, his blend of poise and elite play in big games sets him apart from all other quarterbacks in this draft. Not to mention, he has won three times as many college football games as Mitchell Trubisky has played in. Oh, it also doesn’t hurt that he torched the notorious Alabama defense two years in a row.

Strengths

His arsenal includes an extremely high football IQ, absolute cannon of an arm, as well as speed for mobile throws and play stretching. Watson was criticized for not playing well last season; remember that 2nd in Heisman voting, CFP National Champion season, yeah me too. The thing teams seem to like about Watson is the intangibles he possesses that the other quarterbacks seem to lack. These include his leadership abilities, poise, and ability to self-criticize.

Early in the 2016-17 season, Watson was simply off his game; he knew it and everyone else did as well. After the South Carolina State game, Watson held a press conference explaining that he let the hype and talk get to his head, and that he was ready to just play football and have fun. The ability to realize, at that level, that you need to make a change; and actually make it, is impressive. Watson seems to always want to improve not just to others criticisms, but his own as well.

Weaknesses

Watson’s weaknesses are his “little more slender frame,” hot-and-cold accuracy, and ability to read deep-field plays. Clemson’s offense has been described as “crippling” to Watson by some; saying the short passing, up-tempo feel of the scheme has hurt Watson’s ability to make 20+ yard reads and throws.

There are a few instances when Watson’s mistakes were visible, but he recognized them as soon as it happened. Against Florida State, Watson misread the defense on an option pass, giving up an interception. Watson rushed his decision, and made the throw to the wrong read.

As of now, it seems like Deshaun may be the second quarterback taken in the draft. The “experts” have decided that Mitchell Trubisky is the guy they’re going to ride this year, but that may play in Watson’s favor.

Ideally, Deshaun ends up somewhere like New Orleans or Arizona; somewhere with a seasoned quarterback already in place that can teach and mentor Deshaun, similar to what Green Bay did with Aaron Rodgers. If Watson is taken in the top half of the first round his landing spot will be; Cleveland, Chicago, Buffalo, New York (Jets), or San Francisco.

Comparing the Two

Seasons as starter- Watson (2 and some change), Trubisky (1)

Wins- Watson (31), Trubisky (8)

Losses as a starter- Watson (3), Trubisky (5)...by the way one of Watson’s three losses was a National Championship..

Post Season Record- Watson (5-1), Trubisky (0-1)..by the way Watson is .500 in National Champions and 1.000 in ACC Championships..

Record Against Ranked Opponents: Watson (10-2), Trubisky (1-3)