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Predicting Deshaun Watson’s Draft status

Ashley Stout, Staff

Watson’s record as a starter was 33-3. He lost fewer games in three years than 30 NFL teams in the 2016 season alone. 

Only the Cowboys and Patriots lost three games or less. The fact of the matter is Deshaun Watson knows how to win football games. 

There are quite a few teams in the first ten NFL Draft picks who are looking for their quarterback of the future. 

The Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears and New York Jets are all in need of a franchise face capable of leading them to a Super Bowl, much like Tom Brady has done for the Patriots or Ben Roethlisberger has done for the Steelers. 

A lot of scouts have said that because of the system Watson was in throughout college, a spread offense, that he won’t be the same quarterback at the pro level. Because he is more accustomed to receiving the snap in the shotgun rather than under center, he supposedly can’t be an elite NFL quarterback. 

Experts say that his inability to make a read of the defense as he drops back is something he will never be able to fix when he

gets drafted. 

What Watson does lack in the familiarity of a pro-style offense he makes up for in his above-average intellect and genuine football IQ. 

Watson has the ability to learn a pro-style offense and its nuances because he was able to take on the workload of being a starting quarterback, as well as graduating in just three years from a top-20 public university.  

Watson also has a few characteristics that cannot be taught such as leadership, maturity and humility. 

This is really why he has earned the right to be considered a top-10 pick. 

Watson has the innate ability to elevate everyone anywhere he is. Without him, Clemson still has a great defense and a pretty good offense, but they may not have won the National Championship if it wasn’t for number four. He rallied his troops together to defeat the best team in college football. 

Many coaches harp on these so-called “intangibles.” These traits are what make the best quarterbacks elite. 

Peyton Manning was a leader and had a won’t-quit type of attitude that won him two Super Bowls. He was the first overall pick of the 1998 draft because of those intangibles, not just because he could throw the ball well in a certain type of system. 

The next player taken in that same draft was a guy by the name of Ryan Leaf. Leaf is known as the biggest draft bust in NFL history because of how high he was selected and how badly his career turned out. Leaf had a poor work ethic, lacked any ability as a leader and, to had insult to a very literal injury, could never stay on the field because he kept getting hurt.

Watson will not turn out like Leaf did. Given his shortcomings at the position, which are few, it might be a year before Watson sees considerable playing time. 

Coaches might want to give him time to adjust to the NFL before forcing him into a bad situation. However, Watson has the skills and the intangibles to be not just a good quarterback, but a great quarterback.  

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