If you are a number one draft pick in the NFL, the pressure is on you to perform and most often perform immediately. Many wilt under the pressure however if the first few days of the Houston Texans training camp are any indication, rookie QB DeShaun Watson is handling it quite well. Veteran NFL reporter and Houston Texans expert John McClain has gone so far as to compare Watson to NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon just three days into camp.
The overall 12th pick of the 2017 NFL draft and the one player that the Houston Texans have made a big gamble on is taking training camp in stride.
“Each and every day is getting better,” Watson said Friday. “So, I just try to find a way – it doesn’t have to be a lot – just one percent better in whatever I’m doing. That’s my processing information, making a good decision, ball-handling, throwing, being more accurate. Just find a way to get better each and every day.”
Fortunately for Watson, he is not expected to be the immediate savior of the franchise as were guys like Peyton Manning when he came on the scene or even Manning’s replacement Andrew Luck. The rookie has the the good fortune of having veterans Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden in front of him. The goal if all goes well is to have Watson wearing a hat and carrying a clipboard much like Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers did in learning from Hall of Famer Brett Favre.
For Watson it has been a football version of the Fast and Furious through week one of training camp. The speed of the game at the pro level is fast enough but at the quarterback position the speed is even faster and the sooner Watson grasps it and adjusts the sooner Houston will see him under center when it counts. This past Friday’s goal line drills at the end of Week One’s practice reminded him of just how much adjusting he still has to accomplish.
Of the last 26 quarterbacks drafted in the first round, 24 have gone to teams with a gaping need for a quarterback. Watson is the future of the Houston Texans but for now he is just another rookie and that is how he likes it.
“I just play my role,” Watson said. “Be the best that I can be, and when the opportunity comes up, take advantage of it.”