ESPN’s Adam Schefter spoke with two NFL personnel directors and an NFL general manager about Clemson QB Deshaun Watson and how his title game performance impacted his draft stock.
According to Schefter, one predicted that the Browns could take Watson with the No. 1 overall pick and added: “Look who’s coaching them.” Another told Schefter that Watson would end up being a top-five pick in the 2017 draft with the third source saying that he was “supremely confident” Watson will be a top-10 pick.
A personnel director told Schefter the Browns will be a team to watch for Watson.
“The head coach will like him,” the personnel director said of Browns coach Hue Jackson. “You can see that. He wanted to bring RG3 over — this is a much better player than RG3, and RG3 went second in the draft.”
Another personnel director said that while Watson took some criticism earlier in the year, his strong finish to the year paired with his ability should make him a top-10 pick in the end.
“Here’s what you have with Deshaun Watson,” the personnel director said. “He was the first pick in the draft in all mocks a year ago. He struggled some in midseason, so everyone got off him. But these last couple of weeks, he’s skyrocketing up to the top 10 picks, with the two playoff game wins. Now people are going to say, ‘Wait a minutes, he’s played Alabama the past couple of years really well, he won a national championship, he can be a Mariota, he can be a [Dak] Prescott, great character, great kid.’ People will not want to miss him. I think he’s definitely going in the top 10.”
According to Matt Miller, rival scouts he’s spoken to believe the Bears are doing extensive work on this year’s quarterback class.
“Every quarterback on the list, the Bears went to see multiple games this year,” a source tells Miller. “They’re doing their homework.”
- Bob Kravitz of WTHR writes that he’s heard the rumors circulating that Colts owner Jim Irsay has been in contact with Peyton Manning and/or Jon Gruden about joining the team.
- Even so, Kravitz says that no one knows if there’s any merit to them and what Irsay is planning to do.
- Irsay still hasn’t come out and said anything publicly about HC Chuck Pagano or GM Ryan Grigson’s status with the team, and things have been eerily quiet for the past few weeks.
- Mike Garafolo reports that the Dolphins have blocked OL coach Chris Foerster from interviewing for Rams offensive coordinator job.
- Jeff Zrebiec mentions that there’s a chance the Ravens will fill their QB and DB coach openings internally, as they maintained a big coaching staff last year.
- Although Zrebiec believes they’ll look for an external candidate for their offensive line coach potions with Rick Dennison being someone to keep an eye on.