Opinions on the NFL Draft stock of former Clemson QB Deshaun Watson are extremely polarized. Many find the winner of all winners and achiever of all achievers in this quarterback class as the #1 signal caller available.
Others see a spread-formation quarterback, who will have issues adjusting to life as a primary pocket passer. It’s not just an issue for Deshaun Watson, but all former spread QBs. It’s a question that he just couldn’t answer at the NFL Scouting Combine, because the event doesn’t lend itself to doing so.
The combine is nothing more than “shorts and t-shirt Olympics,” it’s not a chance for a spread-option system quarterbacks to alleviate the concerns that NFL teams have about them. For that, only actual experience will do.
Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace is supposedly prioritizing experience when deciding which way to go with the quarterback position. That could be true, or it could be a blatant smoke screen. Pace has even said Jay Cutler coming back is still on the table, but we really don’t believe that narrative at all.
Tuesday morning brought the talk that Mike Glennon could be on his way to Chicago, and that idea of course, entirely changes the conversation about the Bears signal caller situation. If experience really is what Pace will prioritize, then Mitch Trubisky may not be the guy they take at #3, here’s a link to more analysis and discussion of that.
“The guy that I thought really looked good was Deshaun Watson. NFL Network Draftnik Mike Mayock said when he met the media during the combine availability post QB workouts.
“His footwork was better than expected, and his accuracy was outstanding, Watson is a guy that stood out from the group.”
Prior to the combine, Mayock did a media conference call, where he outlined exactly what Deshaun Watson needed to do in order to drive up his draft stock. (Perhaps these lessons will apply to his Pro Day?)
“Don’t be afraid of the stage. That’s number one,” Mayock said.
“Number two, you’re going to go to all these back-to-back 15-minute meetings, and, man, this is a high-level kid, and when you’re talking about the face of a franchise, everybody from ownership to the GM, the head coaches on down, they can’t wait to walk into this 15-minute meeting. And I would assume he’s going to walk in and light up the room. He’s well-spoken. I hear he’s very smart. But they put him up on the board, put a piece of tape on it and tell him to walk through it, I think he will.”
“What you really want is to whet the appetites of all these teams so they say I can’t wait to get a private meeting with this kid, go out to dinner with him, get a private workout. In other words, you want this kid to have all 32 teams say: Wow, I want to spend more time with you.”
In other words, Deshaun Watson needs to be all the things Jay Cutler was not, and succeed in all the same exact areas where Cutler failed.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. and News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times and NBC Chicago.com, contributes to Chicago Tribune.com, Bold, WGN CLTV and KOZN.