The New York Giants have acknowledged that with Eli Manning entering his 14th NFL season in 2017 they need to begin looking for a successor. With that in mind, let’s talk about the high praise Clemson coach Dabo Swinney heaped on Deshaun Watson this week, calling him the next Michael Jordan.
Here is what Swinney said.
"I'm just telling you, if they pass on Deshaun Watson, they're passing on Michael Jordan," Swinney said during the first day of Senior Bowl practices. "I'm just telling you. I don't know what the heck I'm talking about; I'm just an old funky college coach. But Deshaun Watson is the best, by a long shot."
That might be some hyperbole from a coach known as a guy who speaks his mind freely. What, though, if he is right?
The current opinion seems to be that Watson will be off the board before the Giants selct. What, though, if he’s not? Would, or should, the Giants pass on Watson if the 22 teams picking ahead of them do the same?
Here is the NFL.com scouting report on Watson:
Teams will have to weigh the inconsistent field vision and decision-making against his size, athleticism, leadership and production. While not perfect, teams can add checks to both arm and accuracy boxes for Watson. However, discussions about whether or not his areas of improvement can be corrected will likely determine whether a team will view him as a high-upside prospect or a franchise quarterback. Watson's transition from Clemson's offense to a pro-style attack will obviously take time, but his combination of intangibles and athletic ability make him worth a first-round selection.
CBS Sports compares him to Tyrod Taylor and says “Watson lacks ideal measurements and his accuracy can be sporadic but he has consistently delivered on the big stage and has the improvisational ability to extend the play.”
Yours truly has been consistent in expressing the belief that the Giants would be making a mistake by using a first-round pick on a quarterback who would sit behind Manning. Rather, it is my feeling they should use that pick to give Manning help in winning during the time he has remaining.
Watson will be, in fact he already is, a polarizing player in this draft. If you were GM Jerry Reese and Watson was still on the board at No. 23, what would you do?