The Houston Texans have witnessed their Super Bowl aspirations be crushed by poor quarterback play in the playoffs the past two years, and are surely hoping Deshaun Watson will be the difference maker for the franchise after trading up for him in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Unlike most of the quarterbacks taken in the draft last week, the two-time Heisman finalist is expected to compete for the starting role from the outset of training camp.
“We want to provide a competitive environment across the board. So (Watson will) compete,” Texans general manager Rick Smith said, via ESPN. “(But) like I said, we feel good about Tom and his abilities to manage the offense. But yeah, (Watson) will come in, and just like every other guy on the roster, he’ll have time to play.”
Houston’s general manager invested two first-round selections in the 6-foot-2, 221-pound quarterback, and Smith knows that a competitive team environment will only bring out the best in the franchise’s three quarterbacks.
Tom Savage, Brandon Weeden, and Watson are expected to make up Houston’s quarterback room in 2017. While Watson is projected to be the future of the franchise, the Texans front office and coaching staff know he will need time to adjust to their pro-style offense.
“Our mentality is that we try to create the most competitive environment possible, at every position,” Smith said. “So there are some things that Deshaun has to come in and learn — all these rookies. They’ve got to come in, and there’s so much that they don’t know about pro football.”
After watching both Brian Hoyer and Brock Osweiler implode under the pressure of the postseason, the Texans selected a quarterback that has thrived under a national spotlight in college.
Watson will need time to develop under head coach Bill O’Brien, but that doesn’t mean he won’t give Houston the best chance of winning this upcoming season.