Apr 28, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans first round draft pick Deshaun Watson poses with a jersey during a press conference at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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The Houston Texans made the bold move to trade up for Deshaun Watson in the 2017 NFL Draft, which was the right move as they can no contend.
The first round of the 2017 NFL Draft was filled with plenty of excitement thanks to surprise selections and unexpected trades, one of which happened to involve the Houston Texans. For a team with plenty of questions heading into next season, the Texans made the bold decision to trade up with the Cleveland Browns in the first round in order to land former Clemson superstar quarterback Deshaun Watson.
One of the main reasons why this seemed like such a surprise move was due to the fact the Browns were in the same boat as the Texans when it comes to being in desperate need of a quarterback. While Cleveland is expected to land a different quarterback at some point over the final two days, only time will tell when it comes to whether this was the right move by Houston to trade up for Watson.
Sure, the 30 interceptions thrown over his final two seasons at Clemson made numerous scouts question his decision making as a quarterback, but there are plenty of reasons to believe this bold decision could end up working wonders for Texans. In fact, if all goes well for Watson making the transition to the NFL level while winning the starting job in the process, Houston could become even stronger Super Bowl contenders in the AFC, and here are five reasons why.
Jan 7, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) celebrates his second quarter touchdown with running back Lamar Miller (26) against the Oakland Raiders in the AFC Wild Card playoff football game at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
5. Top Option in DeAndre Hopkins
How much of a disappointment was Brock Osweiler for the Houston Texans during the 2016 season? Well, for starters, the fact that DeAndre Hopkins had a down season by only finding the end zone four times after making 17 trips over the previous two seasons shows the lack of impact Osweiler had with running the Texans’ offense.
When it comes to the biggest regrets from last offseason, Houston’s decision to reward Osweiler with such a ridiculous contract was insane, but luckily the Cleveland Browns were willing to trade for the overrated quarterback just to earn an extra second-round pick they desperately wanted. Seeing Osweiler complete more interceptions than actual touchdowns during the regular season shows this move was a disaster from the start, and nobody suffered more on offense from a production standpoint than Hopkins in the passing game.
Now that Osweiler is officially out of the picture, Hopkins will hopefully return to his dominant self from his previous three seasons, and become one of the most dangerous wideout’s in the league once again. Most rookie quarterbacks aren’t fortunate enough to work with a talented wide receiver like Hopkins, but this should make the transition process much easier for Deshaun Watson to deal with.
Jan 7, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller (26) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first half in the AFC Wild Card playoff football game against the Oakland Raiders at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
4. Strong Supporting Cast On Offense
As much of a disappointment as Brock Osweiler was, at least the rest of the Houston Texans offense seems to be in good shape. Between having a reliable running back in Lamar Miller to additional weapons beyond DeAndre Hopkins such as Will Fuller and C.J. Fiedorowwicz, any quarterback would love to be part of running an offense like the Texans when seeing how many dangerous weapons they have to work with.
Of course, when taking a look at all of the weapons Houston’s offense is made up of, it makes last year’s situation with Osweiler even more disappointing to think about. Either way, at least the most important factor is Osweiler is no longer in the picture, and the Texans have plenty of reasons to be excited about the potential surrounding Deshaun Watson as a rookie, assuming he beats out Tom Savage for the starting job.
Watson doesn’t need to prove what he’s capable of on offense when provided with a strong supporting cast, as displayed over the final two years at Clemson, especially last year when the Tigers managed to win the National Championship. Of all the teams to select a quarterback in the first round of the draft on Thursday, Watson is arguably in the best position at the moment to succeed.
December 31, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney (left) and quarterback Deshaun Watson celebrate with the trophy after defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2016 CFP semifinal at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
3. Watson’s Proven To Be a Winner
Forget about the concerns surrounding some of Deshaun Watson‘s quarterback decisions, and the 30 interceptions thrown over the las two years, as the quarterback still deserves all of the credit in the world for leading Clemson to back-to-back appearances in the National Championship. To top it all off, Watson helping the Tigers overcome the Crimson Tide the way they did in the National Championship last January was arguably one of the greatest upsets of all time in college football.
It takes a special quarterback to shock a team like Alabama the way Watson helped Clemson do, and if the determination he showed in college is any indication of what the future holds, the Houston Texans are going to be pleased with their first-round selection. Some professional athletes are just natural born winners, and by joining a team that is coming off back-to-back division titles, that trend should continue for Watson at the NFL level.
Even if it takes Watson a little time to get used to playing in the NFL like most rookies, the Texans could not have done a better job with setting him for success on offense. Watson has been patiently waiting for his time to shine in the NFL, and now that his opportunity is finally here with Houston, expect the rookie to live up to the hype.
Sep 18, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) looks up at the scoreboard during the fourth quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports
2. Texans Already Have a Top Defense
When looking back at the Divisional Round of the playoffs between the Houston Texans and New England Patriots, the argument can be made that Bill O’Brien‘s squad would have pulled off the upset in Foxborough with any other quarterback besides Brock Osweiler. For the most part, the Texans’ defense did a phenomenal job at keeping Tom Brady in check by applying constant pressure while making him throw two interceptions, but it was Brock Osweiler who ended up being the difference maker, in a negative way.
Instead of Houston taking advantage of Brady’s struggles when given the opportunity, Osweiler failed to come through for the offense after completing just 23 of 40 passes for 197 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions. While it’s understandable to see most quarterbacks struggle against talented defense like the Patriots, watching Osweiler struggle during this playoff matchup was the icing on the cake for what turned out to be a horrible season for the quarterback.
With that being said, the Texans’ defense deserved all of the credit in the world for playing the way they did against the Patriots in this game, and gives them every reason in the world to feel confident once again heading into 2017. Not only should Houston continue to be excited about the development of Jadeveon Clowney, but hopefully J.J. Watt can return to his old dominant self after only appearing in three games all of 2016.
Jan 1, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler (17) calls signals at the line during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. The Titans won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
1. Houston Won AFC South Twice Without Reliable QB
Despite all of the struggles the Houston Texans have dealt with over the last two seasons at the quarterback position, it’s amazing to see this team still find ways to end up on top of the AFC South, and they certainly will be strong contenders once again in 2017. Even if their competition wasn’t always the best, the Texans realize that’s going to chance heading into next year when seeing how competitive the division is turning out to be.
Around this time last year, Houston was expected to be one of the top contenders in the AFC following the signing of Brock Osweiler, and even though things failed to work out on offense, this unit still had one of the top defenses in the league. As bad as it sounds, it won’t take much from Deshaun Watson‘s end to play at a higher level than Osweiler if he can just work on keeping the interceptions down, and if the rookie does help show improvement on the offense, the Texans could become one of the best overall teams in 2017.
For years, football analysts have been saying Houston is a reliable quarterback away from being serious Super Bowl contenders in the AFC, and just imagine the possibilities for this offense if Watson can be as effective as he was during his time with the Tigers. Only time will tell when it comes to finding out whether Watson is the quarterback the Texans have been looking for, but based off his resume at Clemson, it’s tough not to think he’s the answer on offense.