Gruden very high on Watson

Gruden very high on Watson

Football

Gruden very high on Watson

Former Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson will be one of seven quarterbacks in Jon Gruden’s QB Camp.

Gruden’s QB Camp series, a signature element of ESPN’s annual pre-NFL Draft coverage, returns for its eighth year. In all, 50 quarterbacks – including 15 current NFL starters – have participated in the series. Notable players include Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson, former No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck, 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton, two-time Pro Bowler Derek Carr and 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Dak Prescott, who was mentored by Gruden just a year ago.

Former Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd participated in Gruden’s QB Camp in the spring of 2014.

Two-time Heisman Trophy finalist Watson, who led Clemson to the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship, headlines this year’s QB Camp class.

“There’s some unknowns this year, but this class starts with Deshaun Watson,” Gruden said. “His body of work is as impressive as any quarterback we’ve had come through QB Camp. I got the chance to see him live and I think he has a ton of ability.”

Watson is the most decorated college player the past two seasons, winning both the Dave O’Brien Award and Manning Award twice (2015 and 2016), as well as the 2016 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.

“Watson has the best resume of anyone,” Gruden said. “He has an unbelievable amount of production and an impressive record – 32 wins in three years as a starter. He shredded some of the best teams in the country. He’s a dual threat with loads of intangibles. I am really looking forward to working with him to see how he spins it.”

Watson and fellow QB Camp participant Mitch Trubisky of North Carolina are both projected as first-round picks by ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr. and Todd McShay in their latest NFL Mock 2.0 projections.

New episodes of Gruden’s QB Camp begins on Tuesday, April 11 (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2) with additional shows airing across multiple ESPN networks and ABC leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft, including the Best of Gruden’s QB Camp on Thursday, April 13 (7 p.m., ESPN). In addition, all past QB Camp shows will be available via ESPN Classic Video on Demand from April through June.

In all, the 2017 Gruden’s QB Camp class also includes Joshua Dobbs (Tennessee), Brad Kaaya (Miami, Fla.), DeShone Kizer (Notre Dame), Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech) and Nathan Peterman (Pittsburgh).

“There are some underclassmen coming out who have questions that need to be answered,” Gruden said. “That’s why this process is exciting. But three or four years from now, I expect people will be saying this is a pretty good quarterback class.”

 

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