Deshaun Watson – Clemson – 6-foot-2, 215 pounds
Deshaun Watson is far and away the best known of the top quarterback prospects thanks to his spectacular showings in the past two national championship games against Alabama. Coming off his legendary performance this year that carried Clemson to the win many were ready to crown him the best quarterback in this draft class. However, there are some concerns that can’t be ignored. Here are a break down of his main strengths and weaknesses.
*Top notch leadership skills
*Proven to perform at his very best in the biggest moments (“clutch”)
*Great athleticism and mobility, makes plays with his feet
*Has made some amazing “highlight reel” throws throughout his career
*Just average arm strength (accuracy struggles on some deep throws)
*Slender frame may not be able to take NFL punishment (especially if he takes off and runs a lot)
*Limited experience reading the entire field
There may not be a bigger wild card in this year’s draft than Watson. If a team falls in love with him as a person/leader of men and believe his ability to come through in the clutch will carry over to the NFL he could be a top ten pick. However, if teams see enough inconsistency in his accuracy and worry that his frame won’t hold up to NFL caliber hits (some worry he may measure even smaller than listed at the combine) he could conceivably be on the board when the Chiefs pick.
My bottom line is that I would be thrilled with the Chiefs drafting him where they pick in the late first round. However, it would make me nervous if they gave up a lot to trade up into the top 10-15 picks in order to get him. Watson’s best chance to be great in the NFL would be a situation like Kansas City where he could develop (and add some bulk) while learning from a great coach and playing behind an experienced veteran.