The honeymoon is about to be over for Deshaun Watson.
On Monday, the Clemson junior led the underdog Tigers to a thrilling, last-second 35-31 win over perennial powerhouse Alabama.
Needless to say, Watson was impressive. His 63.8 completion percentage, 405 yards passing and 4 touchdowns helped Clemson overcome a 14-point deficit. It also happened to be the best individual performance by a quarterback in the championship game since the 2000 season, according to ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight website.
Even more impressive was Watson’s clutch fourth quarter performance, which saw him complete 12 of 18 passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns. His performance helped Clemson put up the most points (21) and third-most yarded (152) all season against Alabama in the fourth quarter.
On Tuesday, Watson announced that he is leaving college and heading to the pros, and that’s where things start to get interesting. Bleacher Report Matt Miller thinks Watson is “the most pro-ready of all the quarterbacks in this class.”
Who needs a quarterback desperately? The Cleveland Browns.
The team has the top pick in this year’s NFL Draft, and at least one scout told ESPN’s Pat McManamon “no way do the Browns pass on Watson after last night.”
Despite not being ranked a first round prospect by ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper, it’d be hard to blame Cleveland if they decided to snag Watson. After all, they’ve started 26 different quarterbacks since 2000, who during that time had an average QBR of 66.0.
Plus, Browns head coach Hue Jackson is coaching the Senior Bowl this year, and could get a first-hand glance at Watson if he decides to play.
It’d be a surprise for the Browns to draft Watson, considering they also seem enamored with Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett.
But stranger things have happened for the quarterback-obsessed Browns. After all, in the 2000 draft, they drafted Spergon Wynn 16 spots ahead of Tom Brady. A reach for Watson would be unexpected, but I wouldn’t be shocked, either.
Thought I somehow doubt Cleveland is high on Watson's list of desirable locations. -- Rob Tornoe