Top Reaction After Texans Trade Up to Draft Deshaun Watson in 2017 NFL Draft

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 28, 2017

Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine Saturday, March 4, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Deshaun Watson's incredible start to 2017 has led to him being the 12th overall pick by the Houston Texans, who traded with the Cleveland Browns to get their quarterback of the future. 

Houston Texans @HoustonTexans

With the 12th pick in the 2017 #NFLDraft, the #Texans select QB Deshaun Watson. Welcome to Houston! #TexansDraft #WeAreTexans https://t.co/fMaBMvjZ3F

Per Eric Galko of Optimum Scouting, the Texans played a steep price to move into this spot:

Eric Galko @OptimumScouting

#Browns get the #Texans 2017 and 2018 first. Wow. Texans without a 2018 pick until the 3rd round.

After Mitchell Trubisky came off the board at No. 2 to the Chicago Bears and Patrick Mahomes went No. 10 to the Kansas City Chiefs, Watson landing with the Texans prompted heavy reactions from social media:

Peter King @SI_PeterKing

Cleveland in '18 Round 1: 2 picks. Round 2: 3 picks

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

The champ is heading to Houston! Texans take Clemson QB Deshaun Watson with the No. 12 overall pick. https://t.co/V1aEy7CSM1

Brian Billick @CoachBillick

I'm assuming Deshaun Watson just let out a huge sigh of relief.

JJ Watt @JJWatt

Welcome to Houston @DeshaunWatson4

Chris Mortensen @mortreport

DeShaun Watson's last visit w Texans. Looked Bill O'Brien in eye, said knows most important piece to championship team is HC-QB relationship

Watson began the year by leading Clemson to a thrilling last-second 35-31 victory over Alabama, throwing the game-winning touchdown pass to Hunter Renfrow with one second remaining. 

There was some uncertainty around Watson's draft stock leading up to the scouting combine in February, with one NFL scout casting doubt on his skills in the pocket. 

"Obviously he’s an incredible athlete and has good size," the scout told Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel. "He showed what he's capable of doing against Alabama last year. That was his best game of the season. But I just don't see him as the pocket passer like a lot of people prefer in our league."

Watson's overall accuracy in college was terrific, as he completed 67.4 percent of his attempts in three years at Clemson. He was susceptible to turnovers with 30 interceptions in 2015 and 2016 combined. 

After working out at the combine and at Clemson's pro day, Watson's scouting report remained unsettled, per Pro Football Focus:

Watson is as tough of a prospect to evaluate as there is coming out of college. While he shows flashes with his arm, he is wildly inconsistent and lacks the key traits (pocket instincts/poise and field vision). He will need to play in an offense specifically built around him with a quarterback run game and pass-game scheme creativity. ... Watson is not a pure progression passer, with his limited pocket feel and vision, and whenever that’s the case, there will be a huge risk involved when hoping to land a franchise quarterback.

Despite the questions about Watson as a passer, he provided three years of elite tape playing at one of the nation's premier programs. He draws rave reviews for his work ethic and leadership, two critical components for a successful quarterback. 

Watson may take more time to develop his game to the NFL, but the Texans certainly have no doubt about betting their future on him figuring things out. 

The Texans already made one deal with the Browns involving Brock Osweiler, a move that cost them a second-round pick next year. 

Houston's wheeling and dealing with the Browns once again revolved around a quarterback. It was a position head coach Bill O'Brien clearly needed to upgrade with Tom Savage set to be the opening day starter in 2017. 

Watson brings incredible poise, leadership and talent to Houston after playing on the biggest stage college football has to offer in each of the past two years. 


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