why deshaun watson's winning pedigree won't translate to the nfl-and why no quarterback is worthy of a first round pick in the 2017 nfl draft
Watson is a limited athlete without the ability to push the ball downfield. He hasn't stopped throwing picks since day one, and his inside running and designed ball carries are going to all but disappear at the next level. I could see him becoming a competent, and maybe clutch, game manager, he probably peaks at a Kirk Cousins, Alex Smith-esque level, surround him with playmakers and a great OC, and I think he could produce. But he's not ever going to carry a team like Aaron Rodgers or Matthew Stafford has this year.
The most terrifying thing about this QB class? It's very easy to make a case for him as the best quarterback in this class- a crunch time performer who led his team to back to back national championship appearances? Sounds better than the one year starter, the quarterback who can't set his feet to save his life, or the Notre Dame quarterback who failed to produce in college.
If I was a GM in this draft there's no way I waste a pick on a quarterback on day 1, especially considering how good this class is. There's probably six or seven defensive linemen worth a pick, two tackles, a guard, at least four running backs, three receivers, possibly four linebackers, and easily eight corners worthy of a first round selection. And don't forget about one of the better safeties classes the draft has seen in a long time, with two top ten locks and a pair of high upside wild cards who could slide in at the end of the first. Oh, and two dual threat freaks at tight end who are also locked to go in the first round? How, I ask, as a GM, do you justify passing up on so many great options for such high risk prospects and such a high risk position? Here's some career advice to NFL heads- if you drop a first round pick on a quarterback who only started one year at a sub-elite program, and he busts in what would be the most obvious "well duh, he couldn't win the starting job in college" hindsight comment on all time and four pro bowlers are picked behind him, you get a pink slip. And are gonna struggle to get picked up anywhere else. Mahomes is so technically flawed and inconsistent I'm not sure anyone could truly fix him, and Kizer can't hit the side of a barn. But Reuben Foster, Marlon Humphrey, and Dalvin Cook might be cornerstones for championship teams- and all of them could easily last to the teens or later. Just saying.