As he does every year, Bob McGinn of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel divulged what various NFL executives and scouts tell him about assorted prospects in that year’s NFL Draft. The identities of those who speak with McGinn aren’t shared, theoretically allowing them to speak frankly about the players at issue. McGinn’s article on the 2017 NFL Draft eligible QBs can be found here; he has Deshaun Watson ranked second in the class (behind Patrick Mahomes). This is what anonymous NFL scouts had to say about the quarterback before the Texans traded up to select him last Thursday night:
2. DESHAUN WATSON, Clemson (6-2½, 218, 4.68, 1): Third in Heisman Trophy in 2015, second in ’16 as Tigers split a pair of national title games against Alabama. “He’s No. 1,” one scout said. “He’s played the best in the biggest stages. His best thing is leadership. He’s a winner. He has to develop into a pocket passer.” Compiled a completion mark of 67.4%, a rating of 107.2 and a 32-3 record. Also ran for 1,934 yards and 26 TDs. “He’s got to be a better progression reader,” a second scout said. “He’s got a good arm. He makes some throws you question, but in the end he wins, and you play to win.” Actually played a full game on a torn ACL late in 2014, underwent surgery and was ready for the next season. “You can say he’s better than Dak Prescott,” a third scout said. “Total winner. Highly poised. Top intangibles. Lot of predetermined throws. Going to need a lot of work, like all these guys from the spread.” Hails from Gainesville, Ga. Wonderlic of 20. “He’s No. 1 just because he’s a better leader,” said a fourth scout. “Like the kid a lot. His character is really, really good. His mechanics are below average. He threw 17 interceptions this year, which is terrible for a first-round quarterback, and a lot of them were really bad decisions. Just throwing the ball up for grabs.”
I can’t say there’s anything in there that strikes me as grossly unfair or grounds for any additional concern about the Texans’ selection of Watson. There’s a lot to love about Watson, but it’s quite reasonable to believe he’s going to need time to grow into a role as a starting quarterback in the NFL, “better than Dak Prescott” praise aside.
Your thoughts on these scouts’ assessments?