The Chicago Bears should draft quarterback Deshaun Watson.
I say the following statement with great pride: I am a lifelong Chicago Bears fan. Since I started intently watching the Bears at the start of the 2001 season, I have suffered through a revolving door of sub par quarterback play while watching our chief rivals in Green Bay go from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers. I want that suffering to stop at the 2017 NFL draft, when the Bears should draft Clemson QB Deshaun Watson.
Here is a list of the 19 (yes, that’s 19!) QB’s to start a game for the Bears since the start of 2001: Jim Miller, Shane Matthews, Chris Chandler, Henry Burris, Kordell Stewart, Rex Grossman, Craig Krenzel, Chad Hutchinson, Jonathan Quinn, Kyle Orton, Brian Griese, Todd Collins, Caleb Hanie, Jason Campbell, Josh McCown, Jimmy Clausen, Matt Barkley, Brian Hoyer, and Jay Cutler. I can see the sour faces of Bears fans as they read that list. The last time I had actual hope for the Bears’ QB situation, was when the last name on that list was traded to Chicago in April 2009.
So here are the Bears sitting at 3rd, with their highest pick in the draft since 2004. After signing Mike Glennon to a huge contract back in March, most people expected the Bears to be out of the first round QB market. The opposite has actually been true, with persistent rumors of the Bears’ interest in Mitchell Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, and even Patrick Mahommes over the last month or so.
My personal preference after watching tape on all three is Clemson star Deshaun Watson. Here is a video of some of Deshaun’s best plays from last season:
A few things really stick out to me about Deshaun. While he does not often look to his second or third option, he knows the playbook very well, making it easier to know where he is going with the ball. Deshaun also gets rid of the ball quickly with a fluid motion. Even when he holds onto the ball a little too long, he has a good feel for when the pocket breaks down and when to take off. Deshaun is also a very good athlete, that can not only extend plays, but make some plays with his feet that few other QB’s can. The NFL’s website does a good job of releasing physical stats of prospects.
The main concern for Deshaun is arm strength. His arm is considered good, not great. That is something that can be taken with a grain of salt because of other abilities he brings to the table. He has a reputation as a hard worker that loves football, so the want to learn the playbook should be there. Knowledge of the playbook and decisions at the line of scrimmage can help mitigate any throws he may not be able to make.
Bears GM Ryan Pace has said over and over again that he is looking for a leader and a winner for his franchise QB. With Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney saying that teams that pass on Deshaun are passing on “Michael Jordan”, it is clear that his teammates and coaches think highly of the draft prospect.
Deshaun Watson fits the profile of everything the Bears could want in drafting their first, first round QB since 2003. Not to mention, it would bring excitement and hope to a fan base that is begging for exactly that. Whether it is trading down to get Deshaun at a greater value, or staying put and taking him at 3, it is time for the Bears to pull the trigger on a franchise QB.