One draft rumor I’ve seen lately regarding my Los Angeles Chargers is the possibility of them selecting a QB with their seventh pick in the first round… more specifically, DeShaun Watson from Clemson. I have seen this in mock drafts (namely at NFL.com), and the idea is beginning to gain a little steam. Chargers GM Tom Telesco said on NFL Network “Never say never” to the idea of drafting a QB, pointing out that they were always looking ahead to the future.
I’ll be frank, I don’t actually keep up with college football and the players in it much. I didn’t even know who Watson was until the College Football National Championship game. It was certainly impressive what he was able to do—rallying his team back from a 24-14 deficit in the 4th quarter to a 35-31 win and passing for 420 yards in the process. Of course, that doesn’t say anything about how well he’ll do in the NFL, but he was one of the first players from the upcoming draft I actually heard about.
That said, I have mixed feelings about such a notion. The general idea, of course, is to draft Rivers’ successor sooner rather than later. The question is if it’s really time to do that yet. Rivers is 35 so he’s no spring chicken; but I think he could still have 3-4 good years left in him. Although it can be a good idea to allow a young QB to grow and learn from one of the best, that same young QB might not still be around if it actually takes something like 4 years for Rivers to implode or retire.
In some ways, I think the Chargers might be better off going after either an offensive lineman or a WR with the #7 pick. I’ve heard good things about WR’s like Mike Williams. (Wait, another receiver named Mike Williams? Really?) And they might need another one, seeing as Keenan Allen is an injury machine right now and beyond that all they have is Tyrell Williams and Dontrelle Inman. Regarding the OL, I’m a little skeptical of the Russell Okung signing, but even if that works out, the right side of the line is still a little weak.
Bottom line? I don’t think picking DeShaun Watson is a completely bad idea. I think he’s a promising QB who could potentially be a good successor to Philip Rivers. But I also am skeptical of whether now actually is the right time to spend a first-round pick on a QB, and I do wonder if that pick could be better used elsewhere.