2017 NFL Draft: A closer look at Deshaun Watson & Davis Webb

Mar 4, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson throws a pass during the 2017 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 4, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson throws a pass during the 2017 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /
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MOBILE, AL – JANUARY 28: California Quarterback Davis Webb
MOBILE, AL – JANUARY 28: California Quarterback Davis Webb /

Davis Webb

There’s a far wider range of opinions of Webb than perhaps any other quarterback in this draft class. Due to his stature, he’s been compared to NFL quarterbacks Nick Foles and Brock Osweiler. The latter’s probably a more accurate comparison, but Webb is a far more polished prospect than Osweiler was after three years at Arizona State. The five-year veteran of the NFL was, for all intents and purposes, a one-year wonder coming into the NFL. Webb despite a transfer, had far more success in the college game and has one more year of service time.

There’s no consensus on Webb in draft circles. Some pundits love him, others believe him to be little more than a developmental player with arm talent, but one with an otherwise limited ceiling. Despite that fact, he’s risen up draft boards steadily since claiming MVP honors at the Senior Bowl. Originally viewed as a Day 2 pick, but he may have done enough to sneak into the bottom of the first round. Incidentally, that’s prime position for the Chiefs to take him at 27.

Let’s get into my observations:

vs. San Diego State

  • Fantastic touch on 40-yard throw
  • Looks poised/stands tall in pocket
  • Superb deep throw to Rivera (first quarter TD)
  • Makes defenses pay in 1-on-1 situations downfield
  • Another great deep throw to Hansen for TD
  • Throws to sideline don’t always have the necessary velocity
  • Stellar throw outside the numbers, on the run, for a first down (early 2Q)
  • Nice throw to Hudson on a rollout (GOOD ball placement)
  • BAD pick-6 deep in Cal territory (caused by pressure)
  • Standing in pocket looking to make a play got him sacked
  • ANOTHER bomb for a TD (to Robertson) beating single coverage
  • 3 of 4 TD’s on deep passing plays ALL DIMES
  • Nice throw on a would-be TD (knocked down)
  • Has the wheels to get away from single defender
  • Does a good job of going through progressions
  • Keeps feet moving in the pocket (not flat-footed)
  • Stuck a throw between two defenders for a late fourth quarter TD
  • Missed a wide open Hansen for what may have been game-winning TD
  • Threw near-pick, then an actual pick, in closing seconds of the game

vs. UCLA

  • Near-pick on a deep throw (failed to locate defender)
  • Another near pick to Randall Goforth
  • Did GREAT job of escaping heavy pressure to deliver a throw 25 yards downfield (across his body)… Dropped, but should’ve been a first down
  • Has good touch on screens
  • Makes a lot of the throws this system will require
  • Does solid job of delivering short, timed throws
  • Good first down throw to Rivera
  • Great improvisation on 2Q TD…looked like Webb might run/pulled up and found an open man in the end zone
  • Shovel pass nearly picked
  • Horrible decision on a read-option play ALMOST fumbled away
  • Two spectacular sideline throws downfield dropped between defenders (late first half drive)
  • Good fade route throw (caught out of bounds)
  • Another good fade route throw (fell incomplete)
  • Can look off a defender
  • Throws from a good base consistently
  • PERFECT throw on a fade route for TD
  • BAD throw resulted in a pick-6 (called back)
  • GREAT deep throw off back foot retreating from pressure
  • Can make ALL of the NFL throws
  • Pick-6 dropped…questionable throw

vs. Hawaii

BERKELEY, CA – NOVEMBER 05: Davis Webb /
  • Has a level of poise you’d typically see from a veteran QB
  • Overthrow nearly picked off
  • Can zing it
  • Does a good job of scanning the field
  • Will draw flags from defenders on deep throws where there’s no help over-the-top
  • GREAT jump ball throw to Hansen for a TD
  • Not easy to bring down…big enough to escape a defender who gets hands on him
  • Webb scrambles fairly well
  • Has a gun-slinger mentality and will make dangerous throws
  • I like Chad Hansen
  • Trust his arm to fit a ball into a tight spot
  • TOUGH QB keeper run for a TD (broke one tackle…dragged another defender into end zone)…WOWZERS!
  • Soooo…Chad Hansen’s pretty good!
  • Nice ball fake on a Slant & Go TD!
  • Doesn’t seem to stare receiver down much
  • Wrong kind of throw into end zone (nearly resulted in a pick)
  • Looked defender off and made perfect throw to Muhammad for would-be TD (dropped)
  • Looks VERY comfortable in the pocket despite pressure
  • Looked off safety to create separation on TD to Veasy

vs. Stanford

  • Threw a nice slant on the numbers to Hansen for a long TD (Hansen can run!)
  • WOOOOOW throw traveled 45 yards in the air and dropped neatly between defenders (incomplete)
  • Does good job of resetting feet when asked to move around in the pocket
  • Bought time and moved laterally 20+ yards before delivering a strike for first down (second quarter play)
  • Regularly keeps eyes downfield when buying time
  • Sneaky fast when scrambling
  • Had several sloppy throws in this game
  • Throw off back foot retreating from pressure almost picked off (3Q play)
  • Can still throw with velocity on the move
  • Seemed off in the second half
  • Heavy backside pressure flushed Webb, but he escaped and turned negative play into a positive one
  • 40-yard DIME (late fourth quarter play)
  • Drew flag on well-placed deep throw to end zone
  • Risky back shoulder throw into excellent coverage, but still resulted in a TD

vs. Oregon

  • Threw from good base even while retreating
  • GREAT deep throw
  • Good fade throw for a 1Q TD
  • Tough throw off back foot, but still goes for a TD due to solid ball placement
  • Held defender in flat to later find wide open target in the end zone
  • ALWAYS seems to be on his toes in the pocket (has active feet)
  • Will occasionally get sloppy with mechanics
  • SUPERB throw to back of the end zone
  • Seems to know where to go in the pocket to give himself more time to throw
  • Lazy execution on near-pick (screen play 3Q)
  • Sideline throw issues surfaced in this game
  • Does a good job of anticipating where pressure will come from