Deshaun Watson told Dan Patrick on the Dan Patrick Show Tuesday he would not be surprised if the Jacksonville Jaguars draft him Thursday night during the NFL Draft.
Fans here in north Florida are hot and cold on the idea of the franchise taking another quarterback in the first-round rebuilding around another signal caller. While Watson has all the accolades the other potential first-round quarterbacks lack, the news the past week has been about Mitchell Trubisky and where does he land. Trubisky, who is a one-year starter out of North Carolina, appears to be “the guy” in many scouts’ eyes as the next big thing in the NFL.
I’m not sold on the notion, either. The thoughts of the 1999 Draft class come to mind where Tim Couch, Donovan McNabb, and Akili Smith were drafted with the first three picks. Add Daunte Culpepper and Cade McNown and five passers were gone in the first 12 picks.
The same holds true for 2011 when Cam Newton was the top choice and was followed by Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert, and Christian Ponder.
Trubisky will be the first quarterback off the board Thursday night, but which team makes the move to acquire the questions that accompany him to the NFL remains a mystery.
Here are six teams that are in the hunt to make him their new franchise signal caller.
San Francisco 49ers – The 49ers have been linked to Solomon Thomas of Stanford, Marshon Lattimore of Ohio State, Leonard Fournette of LSU and Trubisky. Although the team needs a quarterback for the future, I see general manager John Lynch waiting until 2018 to make that move.
Chicago Bears – The Bears may be the most interesting team in this group. Having already signed Mike Glennon in free agency, would this team take a quarterback when it has so many needs on defense? There have been plenty of reports out the Bears are interested, but I think it is more of a smokescreen than anything else.
New York Jets – If the Jets go quarterback, which one? New York could be the first team to pull the trigger and figure management will choose between Trubisky and Watson. There is also a possible trade involving Cleveland where the Browns move up to six to grab a quarterback. New York does not have a passer who can lead them to the playoffs on the current roster.
New Orleans Saints – The Saints own two first round picks and do not figure to use the 11th choice on a passer. The 32nd pick is more likely to be that pick. At some point, New Orleans has to decide on a replacement for Drew Brees. The Saints should address that need this year, but this early wouldn’t be a good idea.
Cleveland Browns – Ah, the team that wants Trubisky all along. Will the franchise be able to grab him at No. 12 or will they move up to fourth or six to get him? Cleveland has plenty of draft picks to move up the draft board to get a pass rusher and a quarterback in the first round.
Arizona Cardinals – A bit of a reach here. Many mock draft boards have the Cardinals set to grab Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The idea is for him to sit a year and learn the system from Carson Palmer before moving into the starting role. If Trubisky slips down the board, does general manager Steve Keim make draft the North Carolina product?