The Texans did something they have never done. They made a bold, shocking move by trading up from 25 to 12 to pick promising Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson in Round 1 of the NFL Draft.
The Texans paid a steep price. The 25th overall pick this year AND next year’s No. 1. It might have been too much.
But if the Texans liked Watson, they really had no choice. Two quarterbacks were already off the board. Mitchell Trubiskey went No. 2 to Chicago, which paid a hefty price to move up one spot. The Kansas City Chiefs overpaid to move up to 10 and select Patrick Mahomes.
The Texans quickly followed suit, making a deal with their good friends the Cleveland Browns, who earlier took Brock Osweiler off their hands.
Of all the quarterbacks in the draft, I like Watson the best. He will need to develop, but he is a winner, has a nice arm, solid accuracy (completed over 67 percent all three seasons) and is terrific off the field. He was at his best on the biggest stage, leading Clemson to the national title. He turns the ball over too much, but that can be cleaned up. He is also a very mobile runner and will give the Texans an element they have never had.
Did the Texans give up too much? Absolutely. Will it be worth it? Time will tell. This was an all-in move. It was bold. It was different. It was not something they do. If it fails, they have set the franchise back at least three years, and Rick Smith and Bill O’Brien won’t be around to pick up the pieces.
But they did what they had to do. Watson is the future — and maybe the present — at the quarterback position. The Texans have been trying to get the position right since Matt Schaub went full Tiger Woods. They have failed miserably, and so they had to make this move. For the price they paid, they need to hope they got it right this time.
And if I were a betting man, I would wager they did.