The 2017 college football national title game takes place Monday evening, and one player in the spotlight is Clemson quarterback DeShaun Watson. Opinions vary widely about him, although that can be said for all the notable quarterbacks in this year’s draft. But like Mitch Trubisky and DeShone Kizer he will figure prominently in the QB discussion.
Once the national title game is a wrap, we move into the all star game season with the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, the East-West Shrine Game, and the Senior Bowl. Each game provides prospects a chance to practice and play in front of NFL scouts, personnel executives, and coaches.
Watson has a chance to play in the Senior Bowl in a couple weeks, even though he is technically a true junior. The game changed the rules to allow juniors who graduate early to play in the game. Watson loaded up on credit hours and was able to graduate early from Clemson. He reportedly approached the Senior Bowl people about playing, and while he has said he will not decide on the game until after the national title game, it would seem likely that he plays in the Senior Bowl.
If he does accept his invitation, he will reportedly play for the South team. The South squad will be coached by Hue Jackson and his Cleveland Browns coaching staff. The Browns hold the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, but they also hold the 12th pick due to their 2016 trade with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Browns have a huge QB need. Most mocks have them taking Texas A&M pass rusher Myles Garrett No. 1, but there have been some questions about whether they might go quarterback at the top. However, with a second pick available in the top half of the first round, they could choose to wait and use that second pick on a quarterback. The 49ers, Bears, and maybe Bills could be looking quarterback in the first round. All of this will factor into how the Browns are using the first two picks.