Even though his team came up short last night against Alabama in the Finals of the College Football Playoff Deshaun Watson was the star of the game. Watson lit up the Crimson Tide defense for 405 yards and 4 touchdowns in a losing effort. Nick Saban’s team may have won the game but Watson became a star on the biggest stage. Unfortunately he can’t go to the NFL until next year since he is only a sophomore.
Coming into the game the Bama D was thought to be the best in college football after shutting out Michigan State in their semi-final fame on New Years Eve. Watson led the Clemson offense to 40 points, which was the most any team put up on the Tide all year. He also broke Vince Young’s record for all purpose yards in a Championship game with 478. After the game Nick Saban raved about Watson in the postgame press conference calling him “The most dynamic quarterback they had played since Cam Newton.”
Watson has pin-point accuracy on his passes and can make plays by scrambling. He reminds us of Robert Griffin III when he was at Baylor terrorizing Big 12 defenses with his arm and legs. At 6’2 205 pounds the Clemson QB is a big guy and is hard to bring down even for future NFL linemen like Alabama had in the Championship game. Watson used a lot of quick passes to his slot receiver but was accurate when throwing the ball deep as well.
Coming into the 2016 season Deshaun Watson, Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette are the top three players on many mock drafts for the 2017 NFL Draft. In 2015 Watson finished third in the Heisman voting behind Derrick Henry and Christian McCaffrey. You have to think that with last night’s game Watson is now the guy to beat next year. The only real concerns that NFL scouts have about him is accuracy on the move and his history of injury. In 2014 Watson tore his ACL but still played in a brace against the rival South Carolina Gamecocks. The next spring he sat out due to a broken collarbone. The injuries didn’t faze him in 2015 but they always raise a red flag when the scouts start sniffing around trying to find the dirt on a prospect.
2016 should be a big year for Clemson and Watson. With Wayne Gallman, Mike Williams, Deon Cain, Artavis Scott and Hunter Renfrow all presumably returning the Tigers offense could be even more potent than last year.