Deshaun Watson: Scouting Potential Cleveland Browns QB Target

It’s truly never too early in the NFL season to start looking at the next crop of top college prospects who could be available for the Browns in the 2017 NFL Draft. Over the course of the Browns season, I will routinely keep you updated on the top prospects at each of their respective positions and how their play during the course of the college season will shape their overall draft stock. For this first scouting report, we take a look at the most pressing need of the Browns, the quarterback


Deshaun Watson, Junior, Clemson

Height, weight: 6 ft. 2 in, 210 lbs.


2016* - 46-of-87 (52.9 pct.) for 540 yds, 4 TDs, and 3 INTs

2015 - 333-of-491 (67.8 pct.) for 4,104 yds, 35 TDs, and 13 INTs

*Through first two weeks of the college season

Pros: Watson is high production player at the collegiate level which will definitely stand out to the advanced analytics department in the Browns organization. Watson possesses the read-option/zone-read skills that can open up the offensive play calling. As a passer, Watson possesses a nice quick release and above-average arm strength. Watson has average footwork, which can be expected from most read-option players at the collegiate level. Watson is able to roll the pocket and commit defenders while keeping his eyes down field and making accurate throws on the run. Watson is an accurate passer while on the move and has the tendency to roll to his right. Watson has nice touch on the deep throws and has executed well against some of the better defenses at the collegiate level e.g. Alabama, Florida St, and Notre Dame.

Skip to the 1:44 mark:


Video - Deep pass in coverage, showcasing Watsons pass accuracy

Skip to the 4:33 mark:

Video - Not a completion but the pass shows he has the ability to drive the ball to the outside placing it where only his receiver can get to it.  

Cons: Watson is a lean player and needs to add muscle mass to his frame to survive at the NFL level, especially if he is going to be used in an option/zone-read heavy offense. Watson needs to continue to develop as a pocket passer, there are several times where he looks at the first read and if it isn’t there he will takeoff and run. Watson also needs to improve his ball placement and touch; several times Watson will miss the easy throws underneath.

Play starts at the 19 second mark:

Video - First Read, Pre-determined target

Skip to the 1:06 mark:

Video - Watson looks to his primary read and when it is there he runs.

Games to Watch:

Sat, Oct 1 vs. Louisville

Sat, Oct 29 at Florida State

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