12. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
What Was Said At the Time: “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. The former Clemson quarterbacks work ethic and intangibles will make him an attractive option, but there will be some risk involved.” -Pro Football Focus
Measurables: 6-2, 220 lbs
Where Watson is now.
Even if the Texans had wanted Mahomes, they didn’t get the chance to draft him. However, they should be happy that they were able to get Watson. Despite some of the questions mentioned in the report above, Watson burst out of the gate as a rookie, showing the ability to make plays with his arm, as well as his legs. Unfortunately, Watson tore his ACL in practice in early November, ending his rookie season early. But he came back strong in 2018, leading the Texans to a division title despite having a dreadful offensive line in front of him.
Obviously, his numbers aren’t as gaudy as the ones Mahomes put up, but with an improved offensive line in front of him, the sky’s the limit for Watson, especially since his knee surgery is nearly two years behind him.
Pro Bowl Selections: 1
2019 salary: $3.7 million
2020 salary: $4.4 million