When Deshaun Watson heard Dabo Swinney refer to him as the Michael Jordan of this year’s NFL Draft, the former Clemson star was working out in California as he prepared for the NFL Combine.
“It got me off guard, actually,” Watson said with a proud smile during his press conference with the Houston media last week.
It also made Watson smile. First, as he admits, that is the way Swinney is. The Tigers’ colorful coach is very proud of his players and he will talk them all up when given the opportunity. Secondly, and though he will not say it, Watson feels there is some truth to it.
The Houston Texans believe it or they would not have traded away a first round pick in 2018 to Cleveland in order to move up 13 spots to get Watson at No. 12.
The Tigers’ record setting quarterback proved over and over again in his career why Swinney compared him to Michael Jordan. He was either throwing six touchdowns passes against South Carolina and North Carolina, 580 yards against Pitt, or leading his team on game-winning drives against the likes of Louisville, Florida State and Alabama.
In terms of what he could do at the college level, Watson was the Michael Jordan of his sport. He did everything, including winning a championship. That’s what Swinney really meant by his comment.
Now Watson has to go and prove in the NFL.
“I understand I’m not Michael Jordan,” Watson said. “But I guess he sees greatness in me. Hopefully, in 10 to 15 years people will talk about my game like they do Michael Jordan.”
The Houston Texans are hoping so too. But don’t be fooled by Watson’s humility. No one is as confident in Deshaun Watson’s ability more than Deshaun Watson. Remember this comment last week on the NFL Network’s Good Morning Football Show.
“If I’m blessed and can stay healthy, I’m chasing the goat. I’m chasing Tom (Brady),” Watson said. “I’m chasing six (Super Bowls). That’s the big thing. I know it is going to be tough and I know it is going to be hard. I have to have some luck on the way, but that is what I’m chasing.”
Brady holds the NFL record for a quarterback with five Super Bowl titles for the New England Patriots. Only Brady, Pittsburgh’s Terry Bradshaw (4), San Francisco’s Joe Montana (4) and Dallas’ Troy Aikman (3) have won three or more in the history of the Super Bowl.
So maybe Swinney should not have compared Watson to Jordan. Maybe, he should have compared him to Tom Brady.