Kirk Herbstreit says Watson over Trubisky is a "no-brainer"


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Herbstreit says Watson's reputation as a winner speaks for itself
Herbstreit says Watson's reputation as a winner speaks for itself

ESPN and ABC college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit has seen a lot of games during his career, and he has strong opinions when it comes to Thursday night’s first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Thursday morning, he was asked who he would choose if he had a pick, and his answer was clear and to the point.

Clemson’s Deshaun Watson.

Watson is in Philadelphia for the draft, and he is projected to be anywhere from a top five pick all the way down to the middle of the first round.

Watson molded a solid resume on the amateur level, going 48-8 in high school with a state championship at Gainesville. At Clemson, he was 33-3 as a starter, was a two-time Heisman Trophy finalist and led the Tigers to back-to-back National Championship game appearances, winning the title over Alabama in 2017.

Trubisky, on the other hand, started only 13 games in college, going 8-5. However, many draft experts and NFL clubs are higher on Trubisky than Watson, and there are rumors that Trubisky could not only be the first quarterback taken, he could be the number one overall pick.

Herbstreit, on Thursday morning’s First Team show with Taylor Zarzour, said he has only an inkling of why teams would choose Trubisky over Watson.

“I don't know. Maybe it has everything to do with what's happened after the season,” Herbstreit said. “Probably the personal workouts and people have been getting up on the board and going over things wth Deshaun, going over things with Trubisky, and maybe he (Trubisky) just wowed them.”

Herbstreit then said that in his mind, Watson’s body of work and reputation as a winner speaks for itself.

“If you're just going by college football, I don't know why there is even a discussion about this,” Herbstreit said. “I can't tell you how many games I've called, whether they are National Championship games, ACC Championship games, high-profile Clemson-Florida St. games, Clemson-Notre Dame games, with all of the pressure in the world and how that kid delivered almost every single time with the game on the line. As far as making plays, Deshaun Watson to me is the no-brainer.

“But as far as being able to pick up a very sophisticated NFL offense, being able to make the plays you need to make and reading the coverages you need to, I have no idea on being able to project that. Like last year, I couldn't have sat here and said Dak Prescott is gonna have a great rookie year coming out of the Miss. St. offense. It's impossible sometimes to try and predict these things. But if I were going on a hunch, I just don't know why people are looking past Deshaun Watson.”

Herbstreit is also of the opinion that out of all the players who will be picked in the 2017 draft, one will be missed by his college team more than any other.

“There has been such a high bar set at Clemson. Tajh Boyd set the bar high, and then Watson took it to a different galaxy,” he said. “And then you have to be the next guy to step in after that? It has to be. Not only because of the individual success Deshaun enjoyed, but obviously, there is the run of getting them to back-to-back National Championship games, and winning one last year. I think it is without question - and a lot of great players will be drafted - but the guy that will be missed the most is Deshaun Watson at Clemson.”

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