From Derek Carr to Matt Schaub to Brock Osweiler, the Houston Texans have been desperate for even average quarterback play. Enter newly drafted Clemson standout Deshaun Watson.
Over the last decade, there hasn’t been a lack of talent in Houston. Unfortunately, they’ve been devoid of any quality quarterbacking. Andre Johnson spent almost his entire career there, and had many years of “what if”. If Deandre Hopkins isn’t careful, he may face the same fate.
Head Coach Bill O’Brien has a short leash for his quarterbacks, so don’t expect Watson to be making the same mistakes he did in college. O’Brien is a great mentor, but as we saw with Osweiler, there isn’t much room for error.
Even if with tempered expectations, the quarterback situation could not get much worse than last season’s playoff run. Heck, the Texans almost stumbled their way past Tom Brady and the Patriots.
Watson was electric over the last several years, lighting up defenses every Saturday. But will his game translate well to the NFL? And what about your Fantasy Football teams?
Should I Draft Deshaun Watson?
As a two-time Heisman Finalist, Deshaun Watson was electrifying. He plays with good athleticism, and is very patient for such running and evasive skills. A total of 97 touchdowns through the air and on the ground shows a nose for the endzone.
Even better, he showed great poise in his two national championship games. Taking Alabama to the task twice in the biggest game of the year is no small feat. Putting up over 400 passing yards twice and averaging 37.5 points against Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide is impressive for anyone.
Unfortunately, Watson also has some deficiencies that come along with his skillset. He does throw interceptions on a regular basis, something that O’Brien will not tolerate for long. Even more concerning is the lack of reads that he was asked to make at the college level. Decision making is critical in the NFL, so watch for Watson’s growth ties directly in his ability to learn the intricacies of professional offenses.
Watson is also inconsistent in his accuracy and ball placement at all levels. He certainly can make all the throws, but his mechanics lead him to overthrow the deep receiver and leave crossing receivers out to dry. This is a quarterback that needs more time to grow before he’s going to be successful in the NFL.
2017 Fantasy Football Outlook: Deshaun Watson
So what does this mean for 2017 Fantasy Football drafts? I wouldn’t get too optimistic at the moment. From the looks of things, Coach O’Brien is very comfortable rolling with Tom Savage. Even if he is calling it an open competition.
Even if he does find a starting role via injuries or winning outright, Watson isn’t quite prepared for the puzzling defenses he’ll find on Sundays. One off-season of footwork and mechanics likely won’t be enough. Much like Mitch Trubisky, Watson should not see the field or your Fantasy team this season.
There’s a ton of talent in the Houston offense, and they will certainly help Watson if he does end up starting for the Texans. He’ll make a fair share of plays with his feet, but his arm simply isn’t threatening enough to have anywhere near your re-draft leagues this year. Let someone else draft him, there simply is too much value at the quarterback position at the end of Fantasy drafts.
A Deep Sleeper
Keep an eye on him over the season, he plays a very similar game to Marcus Mariota and Robert Griffin. There might be a couple of games that he’d be a deep sleeper in DFS, and could light up a defense here or there. I just don’t see the consistency for a season-long commitment.
I really like what Mike Blewitt has to say on the incoming quarterback competition. The real winners here are Lamar Miller and DeAndre Hopkins. These two need stability in a quarterback, and someday soon, they’ll have it.
Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about the rest of the analysis from this video. Deshaun Watson is in great shape for the future, but his short term Fantasy uses are limited. He’s certainly talented enough, and I hope that he proves me wrong. Deshaun Watson seems like a level-headed kid, and in the long term I really like his prospects.
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