2017 NFL Draft Profile: Clemson QB Deshaun Watson

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Clemson QB Deshaun Watson

As part of our coverage leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of more than 100 prospects, including a scouting report and video interviews with each player.

Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson

6'2" | 221 lbs.

2016 stats:

4,593 YDS, 67.0 CMP%, 41 TD, 17 INT, 151.1 QBR | 165 CAR, 629 YDS, 9 INT

Projection:

First round

Scouting Report:

"Teams will have to weigh the inconsistent field vision and decision-making against his size, athleticism, leadership and production. While not perfect, teams can add checks to both arm and accuracy boxes for Watson. However, discussions about whether or not his areas of improvement can be corrected will likely determine whether a team will view him as a high-upside prospect or a franchise quarterback. Watson's transition from Clemson's offense to a pro-style attack will obviously take time, but his combination of intangibles and athletic ability make him worth a first-round selection." — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Video analysis provided by Rotoworld and NBC Sports NFL Draft expert Josh Norris.

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Quality in 2017 NFL Draft may work against Bears trading out of No. 3

Quality in 2017 NFL Draft may work against Bears trading out of No. 3

Signing Mike Glennon ostensibly settled the Bears' situation for their 2017 starting quarterback and dialed down urgency to use the No. 3-overall pick to find their right-now quarterback in this year's draft. That was considered a good thing, given that the general evaluations of the 2017 draft options were not the stuff of which No. 3's are made.
 
Reducing positional need creates draft flexibility, and the Bears are in the desirable position with options to add picks through trading down. But there's a catch.
 
The problem is not the quality of the draft as a whole, but rather the quality of individuals. Few players have to this point so significantly separated themselves from the field that they become far-and-away, must-have targets that a team or teams feel driven to trade up for.
 
Within the top five, that typically means quarterback: San Diego up to No. 2 for Ryan Leaf (1998), Atlanta up to No. 1 for Michael Vick (2001); Washington up to No. 2 for Robert Griffin III (2012); St. Louis up to No. 1 for Jared Goff, Philadelphia up to No. 2 for Carson Wentz (2016).
 
With Combine interviews and work done, and Pro Days and team visits to go, the best of the 2017 quarterback group has not inspired draft lust, at least not publicly.

[Buy Chicago sports tickets]
 
"I don't know that there's a quarterback — you never know; it only takes one team, right? — in this class that is going to drive a team to go and move up several spots, give away what they need to give up to move up and go get one," ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said Wednesday via conference call.
 
While the 2017 draft is considered to be extremely strong at number of positions, some of the diffused quality in fact may make it more difficult for teams like the Bears at No. 3 or San Francisco at No. 2 to pull off a desired trade-down.
 
"While there's a lot of good players at the top, I think that after [Texas A&M edge rusher] Myles Garrett there could be a little dropoff," McShay said. "Everyone else has something about them, maybe they're a good fit for one scheme but not another, but I would find it hard to believe that with that No. 2 pick, that [the 49ers] will be getting a lot of calls on it." And by extension, the Bears at No. 3.
 
The consensus favorites remain North Carolina's Mitchell Trubisky and Deshaun Watson from Clemson, but "they are truly late-first, second-round grades," McShay said. "It won't surprise me if one or both of them go in the top 10, but as we get closer, people are starting to realize that there's more value at other positions if you're talking about the first five or six picks of this draft."
 
Where mock drafts routinely will posit the same top 4-5 players in drafts, a current sampling using NFL Draftscout.com analysts has the Bears selecting Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore, LSU safety Jamal Adams (2), Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen (2) and Trubisky.

Signing Mike Glennon widens 'best player available' option for Bears draft

Signing Mike Glennon widens 'best player available' option for Bears draft

By signing former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon, the Bears believe they have added a starter-grade quarterback to the roster. But the signing does not preclude the Bears from drafting a quarterback, and it does keep wide open the preferred draft option of “best player available” rather than drafting first for need.
 
With the starting-quarterback situation addressed, the Bears have the luxury of using a mid-round selection on a quarterback, the range where the Dallas Cowboys found Dak Prescott, the Seattle Seahawks found Russell Wilson and Washington found Kirk Cousins.

[MORE: Plenty of implications for Bears after signing of Mike Glennon]
 
Evaluations and projections of the 2017 quarterback class have been less than enthusiastic, although the only meaningful evaluation will play out in late April. Beyond the top four of Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer, Texas Tech's Pat Mahomes, North Carolina's Mitchell Trubisky and Clemson's Deshaun Watson, a few quarterbacks could go after round one or early in round two (based on rankings via CBS Sports):
 
Brad Kaaya (Miami, 3rd round)
Nathan Peterman (Pitt, 4th round)
Davis Webb (Cal, 4th-5th round)
Jerod Evans (Virginia Tech, 5th-6th round)
Chad Kelly (Ole Miss, 7th round)

The Bears also could target the 2018 draft class, which may be headlined by USC's Sam Darnold and UCLA's Josh Rosen. But regardless of the Glennon signing and the 2018 options, the Bears are not expected to emerge from a third straight draft without a quarterback.

John Mullin contributed.