In a continuation of a previous series, we thought we would let the readers see the inner conversations of contributors here at Canal Street Chronicles, where we each can weigh in on a topic and share our thoughts. We don’t always agree with each other, so view our thoughts below and comment with your thoughts.
If the Saints draft a Quarterback in the 2017 NFL Draft, should Clemson’s DeShaun Watson be their pick?
Contributors in the conversation: Deuce Windham (Rev), John Sigler (Sig), John Hendrix (Hendrix), and Chris Dunnells (Dunz).
Dunz - I firmly believe the Saints shouldn't draft a QB in 2017 regardless of the round, but that's a discussion for another time, I suppose.
Rev - If the Saints are needing a starter by next year, then Watson is a solid pick and someone I think they could fit into Sean Payton’s system. If they plan on keeping Drew Brees for more than 2 years, I stand by my choice of selecting Nathan Peterman in the third round. It doesn't make sense for you to go first round on a quarterback if you don't believe he's going to start very soon.
Hendrix - Let's just get this out there. Any quarterback the Saints were to draft would ride the bench for the year.
Rev - That's a given John. But the question is what happens after that year.
Dunz - But if I had to grab a QB this year, I don't want to waste a second or third on a project QB. Because Garrett Grayson has been brilliant.
Rev - They most certainly should draft a quarterback. Every NFL team should probably take one every two years. If for no other reason than to groom them up and trade them later, See Patriots.
Sig - Watson is the best fit at QB because he's played with similar pieces to what the Saints have now. Receivers who the QB can trust to make catches away from their body like WR Mike Williams and Artavis Scott, TE Jordan Leggett. He can hit passes outside the numbers really well and throw at a couple different velocities for timed completions. RB Wayne Gallman is similar to Mark Ingram in that he's an efficient pass catcher who can leak into the flat and turn up field quickly.
Rev - Would you say he's the most pro-ready quarterback right now, Sig?
Sig - I think so, yeah. You could start Mahomes or Trubisky or Kizer this Sunday but you're gonna have a rough outing. Each of them has areas of the pro-level game to work on before I'm comfortable giving them the reins. Watson was an early graduate with a degree in communications while juggling his football commitments.
Dunz - I'd prefer Trubinsky, though. Seemingly more accurate than Watson and probably won't run the risk of injury as much as Watson who might tuck and run to extend plays more often.
Hendrix - I'd say Nate Peterman would be one in that category. Pitt ran a pro-style offense.
Rev - Exactly. That's why he's my favorite developmental quarterback, along with him possessing several intangibles others do not.
Dunz - I personally think the Saints have too many holes in 2017 and are clearly trying to make a run with Brees. They won't burn a pick for a 2018 asset in the 2017 draft, I don't think.
Rev - That's very possible, Chris, but the last time the Saints were this active and scouting quarterbacks they selected one.
Hendrix - As much as everyone praises Alabama's defense, there's something that folks really like on Watson. No one could do that to Bama, but he did.
Sig - He's shown the leadership to rally against college football's closest thing to an NFL defense twice
Dunz - I've heard people say, though, that Clemson's O was "simple." Is that fair?
Sig - Watson consistently helped adjust protections with a good blitz pickup RB in Gallman and an offensive line that is putting a couple guys into the NFL. He's also used to making multiple reads after the snap and can trick secondaries with his eyes much like Brees can
Hendrix - Obviously you're only as good as your supporting cast. But Watson, or any QB for that matter, would seemingly have MT and Snead to work with. Not sure what other pieces of the offense will be like next season.
Dunz - An above-average offensive line, a solid RB in Mark Ingram, and an offensive-minded head coach. A Saints QB in 2018 would be inheriting a fairly good situation in my opinion.
Hendrix - Also, can't operate under the assumption that a QB drafted will just be the guy if Payton and/or Brees doesn't return (unless you’re Garrett Grayson).
Rev - Maybe. But typically first-round quarterbacks don't have the most stellar first year start right away either. Getting your guy and grooming for a year and learning the system is better than having your guy with only one off-season of preparation from college to the NFL.
Dunz - Do you have the fear, though, of a QB who uses his legs to extend plays being at a bigger risk for injury in the NFL? A-A-Ron aside, not many of those college QBs have translated well to the NFL (granted, for one reason or another). Tebow, Manziel, RG3.
Rev - He's not really a running quarterback, though. Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson have both won Super Bowls, and Cam Newton was just there, as was Colin Kaepernick.
Sig - Run-option QB's rarely work out. Seattle has gotten away from it with Wilson because of injuries. Characterizing Watson as a run-option guy isn't really fair because he's a pocket passer. He is athletic enough to do rollouts and throw from different launch points, while Drew is kinda limited to the pocket.
Hendrix - Can't be upset with a competent quarterback who can use his legs. Look at Cam Newton and Russell Wilson as big examples though. Their career can get shortened by how many times they've been clocked.
Rev - They're also quarterbacks who roll out a lot who have long careers too. It's a blanket statement to say that that's going to be a long-term problem.
Hendrix - There's plenty of appealing options at quarterback in this draft, will say that. The Saints are doing their homework, but that doesn't mean they're drafting anyone. Again - go back to the argument that if it's the most important season, why are you going to waste a pick on a quarterback? Luke McCown is the backup, Garrett Grayson is just trying to stick in there for a job. I hate using a roster slot for 3 QBs, and given last season's injury carousel, it'd be smart to go with 2 again.
Sig - The downside with Watons is his turnovers. Like Brees, he's forced some throws by having a little too much faith in his receivers and it's turned into costly interceptions (he's thrown 30 picks in his last 1070 passes). He's also susceptible to sack-fumbles. But I wouldn't compare Watson to someone like Jay Cutler, who is just a mess mechanically. Let Watson have a year to fine-tune with our QB coach and have him compete with Chase Daniel or someone similar next spring.
Rev - I think there's validity to the argument that the last time the Saints put this much effort into a quarterback they selected Garrett Grayson. They have scouts out and have interviewed a lot more than they would have a few years ago. Obviously this is not a guarantee, but it seems like they're going to select one at some point. You could even be in a situation where if the Saints do well this year, they still have a new quarterback next season if they draft a guy early this year and like how he develops. There is your Monday morning hot take.
Hendrix - Here's your biggest hot take right now: Jimmy Garoppolo will be a free agent in 2018. The Saints could get their guy without even flinching.
So there you go. Was there anything said in our roundtable that you agree with? Something you absolutely hate? Tell us in the comments! Share you thoughts - do you think the New Orleans Saints should draft Clemson’s DeShaun Watson if they select a QB in 2017? Tell us in the comments. Send me presents.