NFL executive: Cardinals would be best landing spot for Deshaun Watson
Feb 2, 2017, 12:17 PM | Updated: Feb 3, 2017, 3:16 pm
(AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Before we really get into anything, it’s important to remember there is still nearly three months until the NFL Draft.
But that does not mean people will not talk about what every team should do.
When it comes to the Cardinals, opinions are mixed. Head coach Bruce Arians does not feel like his team has many needs to fill, and the mock drafts have them likely choosing from multiple positions with their first pick, which is slated to be No. 13 overall.
For people who think the team should look to address the QB position, however, this draft could offer some options in Round 1. One of them might be Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, who declared for the NFL Draft following his junior season.
Watson is in no way a sure thing, however, and may very well need to land in the right situation in order to be a success at the next level. Might that situation be in Arizona?
NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah anonymously polled five NFL executives on what team offers the best situation for Watson, and one of them chose the Cardinals.
“Arizona would be a good spot. They have a great running back and nice group of wide receivers, as long as Larry Fitzgerald sticks around.”
The quote was obviously gathered before Fitzgerald announced that he was, in fact, sticking around for 2017.
If Watson even lasts to 13, he would be an intriguing option for the Cardinals. Though he has not made any announcements, veteran starter Carson Palmer is expected to return, too, which would give any rookie quarterback a chance to sit and learn rather than be forced into action early.
Watson, if he was the guy, would also be joining a team that has some offensive firepower, with All-Pro running back David Johnson as well as speed at receiver in John Brown and J.J. Nelson. There are some question marks long-term, however, with Fitzgerald playing in the last year of his contract and no wideout after him having firmly established himself as a go-to player.
But assuming Watson would not play much at all as a rookie, the Cardinals would have time to address those concerns by the time his role would increase.
A 6-foot-3, 215-pound prospect, Watson threw for 4,593 yards and 41 touchdowns with 17 interceptions in 2016, while also rushing for nine scores. He led the Tigers to the 2016 title after he and his team fell short in the 2015 championship game, and if not the top QB prospect, is very near the top.