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Texans thrilled with Deshaun Watson

The Houston Texans have been searching for a quarterback since becoming a franchise back in 2002. Houston thought it had the long-term answer at the start of this decade with Matt Schaub, only to watch him fall apart in a major way in 2013.

Since Schaub became the king of the pick-six, we have seen a bevy of different failures, ranging from Ryan Fitzpatrick and Case Keenum to Brian Hoyer and Brock Osweiler. All of this led to Houston trading from the 25th-overall spot to the No. 12 pick in April’s NFL Draft, allowing them to take Deshaun Watson out of the University of Clemson.

Watson was a star at Clemson, helping a school with a penchant of late-season failure to its first national championship since 1981. The Tigers reached the title game in each of Watson’s final two years, facing the Alabama Crimson Tide both times. Last year was finally Clemson’s moment, with Watson throwing the winning touchdown pass in the final seconds.

With all that in mind, Watson was still the third quarterback taken off the board in a class that many believed was weak at that position. Mitchell Trubisky went second-overall to the Chicago Bears, while the Kansas City Chiefs moved up 17 spots to nab Patrick Mahomes out of Texas Tech.

However, it is Watson who is most likely to start in his rookie season. Houston currently has Tom Savage listed as the top quarterback on its depth chart, but Savage isn’t the future. Additionally, Watson has been earning an enormous amount of praise from the organization, particularly head coach Bill O’Brien, per NFL.com.

“Deshaun is ahead of any rookie quarterback I’ve ever been around,” O’Brien said Tuesday following the team’s latest camp session.

If the Texans want any shot of being in the AFC mix come late January, Watson needs to not only be the starter but be a force. We saw this happen last year with Dak Prescott, also in the great state of Texas, going from rookie expected to hold a clipboard to the Rookie of the Year who won 13 games and the NFC East.

Still, Houston and its fans need to be patient. Watson, even if he turns out to be great, is not going to come in and be anywhere near perfect. He doesn’t have the supporting cast that Prescott had, both in the backfield and in the offensive line. Watson is going to get pressure early and often against him, forcing tough choices and quick reads.

The Texans are not likely to reach the Super Bowl this year, but Watson could make this year fun and exciting, two words that haven’t been associated with that offense in quite some time.

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