DeShaun Watson has the look of a player ready for the next challenge:
— NFL (@NFL) April 23, 2017
He’s also as decorated as any college quarterback prospect as you’ll see: having won the Unitas Award (once), Manning Award (twice), and O’Brien Award (twice) en route to showing off his collegiate excellence. He is also a two-time Heisman Trophy finalist who led his team to two ACC titles, two national championship games, and one national title.
At this point, the only thing left for Watson to prove is whether or not he can cut down on interceptions, read defenses proficiently, and show he can make all the throws at the NFL level. But which team gives him that opportunity remains to be seen.
- With the NFL Draft rapidly approaching and the Bears still seemingly undecided about what the team will do with the third overall pick, Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune reveals a blueprint for success. Back in 2008, the Atlanta Falcons were coming off a dreadful 4-12 season that was marred by the in-season resignation of head coach Bobby Petrino to return to college. Atlanta, a team with many needs at the time, was saddled with the third pick – which it used on quarterback Matt Ryan. The Boston College product faced many of the same challenges this particular quarterback class does. Interceptions, athleticism, and arm strength concerns were footnotes for a player deemed to have quality intelligence, competitiveness, and a feel for a pro style offense. Here, the Falcons knew they had a need at quarterback, saw value in the position (and where they were picking) and pulled the trigger. The rest is history.
- Of course, there is a heightened sense of difficulty when the Bears are picking a quarterback. Over at the Chicago Sun-Times, Adam Jahns writes about why picking the right guy has been so difficult over the years. The difference between the college and pro game have become so stark, so much more goes into developing a quarterback at the pro level now than it has before. Little things like snap counts, reading defenses before the snap, taking the snap, proper mechanical drop backs, and going through progressions are things that can make-or-break even the most talented and athletically gifted quarterback prospects. It’s the most important position on the field, and so much on-the-job learning must take place to be somewhat adequate.
- Maybe the difficulty in picking a quarterback will be taken into consideration if and when the Bears pick a defensive player with the third overall pick in the draft. Over at the Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, Bob LeGere writes that the Bears are likely to go defense with the third pick (something we’ve heard a lot about so far). The key to what kind of defender they choose will depend on what the San Francisco 49ers do with the second pick. They could choose a quarterback, leaving the Bears with any number choices who play defensive line (Stanford’s Solomon Thomas and Alabama’s Jonathan Allen) or secondary (Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore, LSU’s Jamal Adams, Ohio State’s Malik Hooker). LeGere has the Bears picking Allen with the third pick, while passing on the secondary options.
- Over at NFL.com, analyst Bucky Brooks attempted to handicap the odds of quarterbacks being chosen within the first 12 picks of the draft. The Bears have one of those picks, and Brooks believes there is a 35 percent chance the Bears take a QB. Because Mike Glennon’s contract could ultimately turn out to be a one-year prove-it deal, the Bears are still in play for a first-round quarterback. It might be less than ideal, given the team’s other needs, but Brooks says he would be surprised (though, not stunned) if the Bears used the third overall pick on a QB.
- And finally, in case you were curious about finding a quarterback through the trade market, former top option Jimmy Garoppolo still isn’t going anywhere:
ICYMI (in February): Jimmy Garappolo isn't going anywhere. His name continues to surface in trade rumors and speculation – not happening.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 23, 2017