It shouldn’t take commentary from All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey to realize that Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson can flat out ball. Through six NFL starts in his first season, the Texans’ offense averaged 34.6 points per game — the league leaders for the entire season didn’t even reach 30.
Watson, despite knocks on his stature, decision-making and ability to transition from the college game, the Texans’ quarterback of the future has silenced all doubters thus far. In 2018, coming off a torn ACL during practice last November, Deshaun Watson is about to takeover the NFL.
At Clemson University, all Deshaun Watson did was play winning football — as a freshman, the kid beat South Carolina and scored four touchdowns playing on a torn ACL.
Over a three-year span as the Tigers quarterback, Watson racked up two 4,000-yard passing seasons, 116 total touchdowns and finished third in the 2015 Heisman Trophy voting.
Oh, and he hung 941 total yards on the Alabama Crimson Tide’s top-ranked defense in back-to-back national championship games, winning Offensive MVP and the CFP national title in the 2016 season.
The Houston Texans moved up in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft to select the Clemson quarterback, trading two first-round picks to slide in at No. 12 and steal Watson — Mitchell Trubisky and Patrick Mahomes were the only two signal callers taken ahead of him.
Watson tore his right ACL, opposite the one he tore in college, in a non-contact injury during practice last fall.
Watchful eyes will track Watson’s return from a major knee injury in 2018, but so far, the 22-year-old is showing everyone that he’s healthy and getting even better.
Here are some of Deshaun Watson’s “weaknesses” prior to the NFL Draft:
– Accuracy runs hot and cold.
– Ball placement on crossing routes and slants needs to improve. Will leave throws behind intended targets.
– Design of offense limited his need to make full-field reads.
– Has issues improvising away from initial, pre-snap plan even when pathway to target becomes muddy.
Now, here is Deshaun Watson’s game film from Saturday’s preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers in which he completely obliterates every single one of these assumed weaknesses.
Watson’s 5-for-8 passing for 73 yards and one touchdown doesn’t jump off the page, but consider that all three of the incompletions were catchable passes — he also played without Houston’s top targets DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller.
Watching a young quarterback calmly work in rhythm, as well as make driving throws across the middle and finesse tosses to the boundary, shows the maturity of Watson entering his second season under head coach Bill O’Brien.
The kid is for real. He may not be in the class of Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady yet, but he’s on his way.
Last season, he averaged almost 30 fantasy points per game prior to his injury, and is being the fourth fantasy quarterback drafted in fantasy football leagues with an ADP (average draft position) right around No. 51 overall.
The Texans can put up big offensive numbers this season, and having the future of the NFL in their laps should mean big things for Houston in 2018.