Mel Kiper says Deshaun Watson "didn't win the Heisman for a reason"
|Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 4:04 PM- -|
Mel Kiper doesn’t think Deshaun Watson is ready for the NFL, and he says there is a reason Watson didn’t win the Heisman.
The NFL draft analyst was a guest on ESPN’s First Take Tuesday, and Kiper and fellow draft analyst Todd McShay both said Watson is lacking when it comes to being ready to lead an NFL franchise.
In fact, Kiper thinks that Pitt’s Nathan Peterman is more ready to be an NFL quarterback than any of the other first round possibilities.
“I think if you say who is ready to start, none of these guys that might be taken in the first round,” Kiper said. “It might be Nathan Peterman from Pitt. He might have the best chance to start right away. I see a lot of Trent Green in him; some see Kirk Cousins in him, so maybe it is Nathan Peterman who might be a second or third round pick. But of the four who might go in the first, I don't think any of them are. But from a knowledge standpoint, Peterman might have the best shot.”
McShay said he thinks four quarterbacks have the potential to go in the first round.
“There are four that might go in the first round. I think Deshaun Watson from Clemson, we all know him,” McShay said. “Mitch Trubisky, with just 13 starts, I don't think he fits a guy you will throw into game action right away. Pat Mahomes, who is the sloppiest quarterback I think I've ever evaluated. It was like watching Johnny Manziel and Brett Favre. He is two or three years away. And then Deshone Kizer is another one. Not a lot of starts at Notre Dame but can develop into a consistent guy.”
McShay was then asked which recent quarterback he would compare Watson to.
“Marcus Mariota would be one comparison,” McShay said. “And he needs to be in a Mariota or Dak Prescott situation, where there is a strong run game, and the offense is tailored around him, and he has time to develop.”
Kiper then said Watson put up big numbers in college because his receivers were making plays, and he won games in spite of his accuracy issues.
“The questions about Deshaun Watson are accuracy and precise passing,” Kiper said. “So Watson, when you watch Mike Williams you gain more of an appreciation for the receiver and less so the quarterback because he is making great catches when the ball isn't accurately thrown. In college, you get away with it, in the NFL you don't. Windows are much bigger in college, tighter in the NFL. Watson's accuracy is in question, and that is why I think Trubisky will go ahead of him.”
Kiper was reminded that Watson was a standout in two National Championship games against Alabama, and he said that Watson’s entire reputation was because of those two games and not the entire body of work.
“Watson was made by those two games. Say what you want, but he didn't win the Heisman for a reason,” Kiper said. “He didn't play great early. He was considered a second or third round pick at midseason. People still had questions about his ability to be precise throwing the football.”