QB Deshaun Watson, Clemson

6’2” – 221 lbs. – 4.66

Started five games as a freshman, then enjoyed two outstanding seasons, appearing in the national championship game as a sophomore and winning the championship as a junior before declaring for the draft. Has adequate height and a thick build. Has received rave reviews with regards to his composure, leadership ability, and work ethic. Operates out of the shotgun in a simple, well-designed option-based offense revolving primarily around a single-read short passing game; wasn’t really asked to go through progressions, but did throw receivers open at times. Consequently, will have some significant adjustments to make to the pro game. Doesn’t attempt a lot of pro-style throws; most of the passes in his offense are short slants, curls, outs, and fades. Pretty responsible, playing within his offense and protecting the ball by avoiding high-risk throws. Willing to test defenses on go routes down the sidelines as well, with solid accuracy on his deep balls. Throws a solid spiral with some velocity from a somewhat deliberate throwing motion; combination of staring down receivers and longer throwing motion may be a problem at the pro level. Arm is powerful enough to fit passes into tight windows or drop throws between two defenders down the seams. Has some issues with his throwing base; doesn’t always step in, plant his feet, and drive the ball, which probably cause his issues with accuracy. Passes have inconsistent placement and often slightly too much on them; leaves some opportunities on the field. Accuracy problems exist even on shorter passes such as screens. Misses are all over the place; will overthrow some passes and dribble others in front of his targets. Has escapability and some ability to move around in the pocket and buy time. Will stand in and take a hit in order to complete a pass; however, when he starts to scramble, doesn’t always keep his eyes downfield. Able to roll out and complete passes on the run; first instinct is to throw. Runs with build-up speed; is not afraid to lower the shoulder and grind out yardage when running the read-option or carrying the ball on quarterback draws. Makes good decisions on the read-option; capable of picking up chunks on his own. However, took a lot of punishment because of his physical running style and may need to protect himself more. Tore his ACL as a freshman. Production and intangibles are excellent and offers a solid arm and enough athleticism to profile as a potential starter, but will face a major adjustment to the NFL in terms of making progressions and cleaning up his footwork and mechanics. More of a projection than most first-round picks at the position, but looks like he could be picked there.

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