• Kyle Breitkreutz

Is DeShaun Watson "QB1"?

Welcome to NFL Draft season, where every prospect gets scrutinized beyond belief and certain prospects rise in value due to lack of depth at the position group. Such is the case for Clemson QB, DeShaun Watson. Watson came into the 2016 season as the consensus "number one" quarterback to enter the 2017 NFL draft after throwing 49 touchdowns and only throwing 15 interceptions during his first two years at Clemson. 2016 was no different, Watson throw 37 touchdowns and threw 15 interceptions in his final year. Watson proved that he is not only a threat with his arm, but also on the ground.

So, what does Watson do well? Watson has a solid base, he plants, pivots and finds his base pretty well within the pocket. Footwork, though at times can be a bit sloppy, is one of his better traits, climbs the pocket well, keeps good balance, and doesn't throw across his body. Though his stats say other wise, Watson is not a run first quarterback. Watson has all the tools that coaches will like at the next level. He is a leader, a player you build an offense around. He has a strong arm that can push throws down field. PFF gave Watson their third highest grade among QBs this season with a grade of 90.4, also have him listed as the sixth most accurate QB on deep targets, and even that he got better against the blitz this season compared to last (read more here)

However, with the good, there is plenty of bad. As a decision maker, Watson doesn't tend to make smart throws, not sure if that is on coaching or if the blame falls solely on him. Accuracy is an issue with him, part of the reason for it is the designed one step throws, if you watch the film against Auburn, you will see that he took a one step drop from the shotgun quite frequently. When he did this, it almost always lead to unbalanced throws, not allowing himself to square up and go through his progressions. Though he's done better this year, pressure still gives Watson some issues, can get frantic and sloppy at times, throwing off his back foot. What concerns me the most with Watson is his muscle frame, he is listed at just around 210 lbs, while though I don't believe that he will be susceptible to injuries, you almost want to see him put on some more weight.

Is Watson the best quarterback in this draft? In a shorter answer, yes, We will hear names of Trubisky, or even Josh Allen, but Watson is a playmaker, not to mention he has over two times the amount of pass attempts that Mitch Trubisky had. Watson is a consistent player who needs to get paired with a coach who can get the most out of his abilities. Is he perfect, no. If you look at any prospect long enough, you will notice the flaws in everyones game. Draft evaluators will dissect his game more than it needs to, at the end of the day, Watson is the best quarterback in this draft class.