Deshaun Watson wasn’t the first quarterback taken in the 2017 NFL draft, but he very well could be the first rookie to start in the NFL among all of the quarterbacks taken. Many analysts had Watson to be the first QB taken, but instead he was the third and final passer taken in the first round when the Houston Texans selected him 12th overall. That definitely won’t hurt his chances in having a shot to start in the upcoming season though. The Texans are short on options at the position after a disastrous result with Brock Osweiler. Luckily, they were able to deal him and the remainder of his $72 million contract to Cleveland. Tom Savage ended up starting for Houston later in the season and while he didn’t perform terrible, he didn’t perform that great either. So now the door is wide open for Watson.
Watson racked up the stats and awards in three years as a Clemson Tiger and also took home a national championship in January. Watson’s college career was a good one. He completed 67 percent of his passes for 10, 168 yards and 90 touchdowns to only 32 interceptions. He also ran for an additional 1,934 yards and scored 26 touchdowns on the ground. Watson is the only quarterback in FBS history to have 4,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in the same season which he accomplished in 2015 as a sophomore when he threw for 4.109 yards and rushed for 1,105 yards. He also led Clemson to back to back FBS National Championship games just falling short of winning in 2016, but helped bring a national title back to Clemson since 1982 in 2017. Watson also threw for over 400 yards in both championship games against Alabama. Along with his stellar college football career stats, Watson also won many awards. He is a two-time winner of the Davey O’Brian and Manning awards, was named the ACC Player of the Year in 2015, and won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm award in 2016. With a resume like the one that Deshaun Watson has, it will be hard for Texans head coach Bill O’Brien to leave him on the sidelines for very long. If even at all.
With Houston’s quarterback issues, it’s very possible that Watson starts right out of the gate. The Texans currently have three quarterbacks on the roster including Watson. Both Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden are more suited for backup roles so the future could be now for the rookie. Savage came in and replaced Osweiler who was benched due to his poor performance late last season, but didn’t show a lot of potential to be a starter. He basically just proved he could perform a little better that Osweiler. Weeden has struggled to see snaps ever since he left Cleveland. so it’s doubtful the he’ll break second string. Watson will definitely be the best option for the Texans under center even though his game still needs to develop for the NFL. Houston made the playoffs last season solely on their defense as the offense seemed to struggle all season long. On offense, the Texans ranked 29th in points per game (17.4), and 29th in passing among all NFL teams. That’s an offense that needs to be overhauled and Deshaun Watson is certainly the guy that can get it done. If the offense performs better and the defense can be as tough as last season, this could be a team that can go deep in the playoffs. Deshaun Watson could be that missing ingredient the Texans need to do just that. A rookie starting on the fly in the NFL is a tall order, but it’s one the Watson should excel at if given the chance.