Combine talk has Deshaun Watson’s stock rising

Getty Images

Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson was undeniably a superstar at the college level, but there are some doubts about whether he has what it takes to succeed as a pro passer. Watson did his best to erase those doubts at the Scouting Combine.

Among the top three quarterbacks in this draft class — Watson, DeShone Kizer of Notre Dame and Mitchell Trubisky of North Carolina — Watson is the one who seems to be getting the most buzz out of his performance at the Combine.

“If one guy kind of struck a chord for me this weekend,” NFL Network’s Mike Mayock said today on PFT Live, “it was Deshaun Watson.”

Kizer showed talent at the Combine, but Mayock said that several coaches he knows are worried that Kizer tended to play his worst football at the biggest moments, while Watson seemed to thrive in big games.

“Talking to a lot of teams this weekend — not on television, just conversations — I sensed a lot of frustration about Kizer,” Mayock said. “So much talent, so physically gifted, why aren’t we seeing more on tape?”

Trubisky was only a one-year starter, which means he doesn’t have a lot of tape to show either. And Mayock said all of the top quarterbacks — as well as Patrick Mahomes of Texas Tech — may have the talent to become very good NFL starters down the road, even if none is ready to start in 2017.

“I went into it thinking if I had to put a grade on these guys, none of them would have a first-round grade even though I think three or four of them have first-round talent,” Mayock said.

So the question will be whether some team is willing to draft a quarterback early, then show patience with him as he develops. That’s the approach that could pay off for Watson, and maybe with every top quarterback in this class.

41 responses to “Combine talk has Deshaun Watson’s stock rising

  1. Brady, Romo, Rodgers, Young: Were all so damaged by sitting on the bench for a year or two that they could never amount to crap!!!! Oh, wait.
    Nothing wrong with letting a qb sit and learn for a year or two. How many have been ruined by playing too soon.

  2. So it’s a lot like last year… around this time non were being talked about as first rounders but after the combine the desperate teams made QBs 1-2 based on the potential.

  3. So hard predicting how QB’s will do….but if I HAD to bet, I’d put it on Deshaun Watson. What he did in the National Championship was magical.

  4. this guy threw 400 yards on Alabama and 500 on Florida st.This guy is the best QB IN THE DRAFT.I dont know what people are smoking but i would like some of that.Watson is a second half QB.He gets the job done.

  5. Any one of these QB’s in the first round is a mistake. Russell Wilson 3rd Joe Montana 3rd Brady 6th Dak Prescott 4th, Cousins 4th, Brees 2nd. None of these qb’s will have a career even close to these guys. I see first round busts if they go this high. Ryan Leaf 1st jamarcus Russell 1st Manziel 1st Couch 1st RgIII 1st Goff 1st David Carr 1st.

  6. Brady, Romo, Rodgers, Young: Were all so damaged by sitting on the bench for a year or two that they could never amount to crap!!!! Oh, wait.
    Nothing wrong with letting a qb sit and learn for a year or two. How many have been ruined by playing too soon.
    ————————–
    Lots of QBs were also starting their first year and seemed to do well: Kelly, Marino, Montana, Manning (Eli and Peyton), Roethlisberger, Ryan, Newton.

    Nice try Pats homer (easy to tell since you mention Brady first) but you’re not wicked smaht.

  7. So the question is does Cleveland pick a much needed QB with lots of potential and develop him over time (like Watson) or pick what is expected to be an immediate impact defensive player like Myles Garrett? History shows first round QBs have at best a 50% success rate of making it in the NFL so I’d go with Garrett.

  8. I feel like his floor his somewhere above RGIII and somewhere below Russell Wilson. It’s all going to depend on if he lands on a team that can develop QBs or if he goes to a team like the Browns or Jets or Bears that just throws draft pick after draft pick at the position and none of them turn out worth anything.

    In any event, not a Top 5 pick from anything I’ve seen.

    As for the rest, the combine didn’t really provide much separation except to show that Deshone Kizer is going to be a big-time project who should have stayed in school.

  9. Through no fault of his own Trubisky is the textbook example of what is wrong with the entire draft process. He’s risen in popularity primarily because he’s the unknown commodity. Warning signs are everywhere– one season starter in college, never took snaps under center, offense wasn’t pro-style– but all that will be overlooked. Then whoever drafts him will totally forget he has a lot to learn and will expect him to start within his first year. And then everybody will act shocked when he inevitably struggles.

  10. willycents says:
    Mar 7, 2017 9:04 AM

    Brady, Romo, Rodgers, Young: Were all so damaged by sitting on the bench for a year or two that they could never amount to crap!!!! Oh, wait.
    Nothing wrong with letting a qb sit and learn for a year or two. How many have been ruined by playing too soon.
    ———————————————————
    I seem to have missed your point. The teams looking to draft these qbs need a starter now. Brady was drafted in the sixth round- clearly not brought in to start. Romo went undrafted. Again, not brought in to start. Rodgers went with the 24th pick in the first round. Then he sat on the bench for three years. Again, not brought in to start. Young was taken first in a supplemental draft. He was brought in to start. Not ride the bench for a year or two. Point being… the mentioned qbs in this year’s draft are being mocked to go to teams who are qb needy. Not riding the bench for a year or two.

  11. Brady, Romo, Rodgers, Young: Were all so damaged by sitting on the bench for a year or two that they could never amount to crap!!!! Oh, wait.
    Nothing wrong with letting a qb sit and learn for a year or two. How many have been ruined by playing too soon.
    ————————–
    Lots of QBs were also starting their first year and seemed to do well: Kelly, Marino, Montana, Manning (Eli and Peyton), Roethlisberger, Ryan, Newton.

    Nice try Pats homer (easy to tell since you mention Brady first) but you’re not wicked smaht.

    To be fair, Kelly played 2 years in the usfl but its hit or miss as to what a guy will succeed with. Sitting in year 1 or not.

    Brady, romo and Rodgers didn’t sit because they weren’t ready as much as they imaged behind franchise type qb…

  12. Combine talk is all smoke and mirrors, agents campaigning for their clients and teams hoping other will by into the hype and make a mistake.

  13. When you watch all these QBs, Mahomes and Trubisky play the best football. Kizer has a lot of tools, but he looks lost. Watson is several steps below the top two. He’ll join the long list of national champion QBs who didn’t make it big in the NFL. Davis Webb can play, and Trevor Knight will play (if given an opportunity).

  14. I’ve been saying it since this started, I’d only take Watson and Mahomes. Mahomes for his quick release, and Watson because something that is never discussed but always translates, he would take a hit in the mouth and still make plays while staring down the barrel of the gun. It’s the same thing that translated with Tony Romo when you were projecting him back in the day. Forget about the other guys. Trubiski is Blaine Gabbert 2.0 with all of the physical talent but nothing on tape to justify the love for him, and Kaizer just scares me because he doesn’t do anything great.

  15. Not sure what else Watson can do to prove himself? Two unbelievable games versus Alabama. A thrashing of Florida State. Yet people are looking at Mitch Trubisky? 75% of the GM’s have no clue what they’re doing, along with 90% of the fans. Watson’s demeanor alone should tell you all you need to know.

  16. I would feel safer with Watson then any of the other guys but cmon. Realistically, 20 teams need a qb. Congrats on your teams average qb and 7-9 to 9-7 record. If you don’t have a franchise qb, you’re not closer than the browns to winning a super bowl unless you have a special defense. If there were some defensive players with amazing grades in this draft, wouldn’t common sense tell you to take them and not the jake locker grade qbs?

  17. Reminds me of years past when there weren’t any franchise qbs in the draft so the media pumps up these career backups just like geno smith, jaflopus russell, jake locker, blaine gabbert, etc

  18. redeemerac says:
    Mar 7, 2017 9:15 AM
    So hard predicting how QB’s will do….but if I HAD to bet, I’d put it on Deshaun Watson. What he did in the National Championship was magical.

    _______________

    Lets not forget the same was said for Vince Young after his performance in the National Championship game against USC

  19. komencentz ,

    They have to figure out if he can understand an NFL playbook because at some point, he’ll have to learn how to do it and not play from a college type system. This transition over time went badly for people like Griffen and went fine for people like Roethlisberger and most recently, Prescott. Also I’d go easy with the “thrashed” Florida State part. Those were both even games where he was definitely the difference because in 2015 we really didn’t have a QB and in 2016 our inexperience got the better of us late in that game. But this also applies to every other QB in this draft, so I wouldn’t single him out.

  20. What should scare teams away from Watson is that he’s an interception machine. 32 ints in his last 30 games. Not good for a modern college player. It’s like the top baseball prospect giving up 1 hr a game to low A players.

  21. Yes Watson played great against Bama but so did Manziel. Manziel had Evans, Watson had Williams. I would draft Watson before trading for Garoppolo but that’s not saying much.

  22. Saying “We need to see some 1080p MKV or .m4v files on this guy” just doesn’t have the same ring…

    =========
    tdskinz says:
    Mar 7, 2017 10:11 AM
    On “tape”? I would think by now the NFL would be in the digital age.

  23. joshhatesthesteelers says:
    Mar 7, 2017 10:46 AM
    So what’s the biggest knock on him ? He’s 6’2, strong arm, accurate, very mobile, and intelligent. I’ll take that in a franchise QB all day.
    ===================================
    You know what it is.
    Everyone knows even if they won’t admit it.
    If Mitch Trubisky had the exact same numbers and resume as Watson every “expert” in the country would have him as the # 1 pick in the draft.

  24. I was watching a documentary about the 6 QBs taken before Tom Brady. Brady was a lot like Deshaun Watson- great clutch player, kept leading his team to comeback wins, and so forth. The 49ers instead took a guy they thought had all the tools- Giovanni Carmazzi. They gushed about what a great athlete he was, how he could make all the throws. Giovanni Carmazzi got hit a few times, and he completely wilted. He could not play after that. A total bust. And we know what happened with Brady. I feel like I’m seeing the same thing with Deshaun Watson.

  25. Yep, I’ve been saying this since the championship game. (And I’ve hated Clemson since the ’70s.) The Browns need Watson. They would be crazy not to trade back a few spots and take Watson there. … But given the Browns’ history with QBs, they probably won’t.

    Yes, a few other players should be taken before Watson, but the Browns, especially, need to end this 20-plus year draught now.

  26. Deshaun Watson suffers by pundits’ paralysis by analysis. Check with your eyes and guy, this guy is a stud and will be a star in the NFL.

Leave a Reply