Houston will need to structure offense for Watson

The Texans traded up to select Deshaun Watson. If he's the starter, Houston will likely have to do some offense restructuring.

| 4 weeks ago
(Elsa/Getty Images)

(Elsa/Getty Images)

Houston will need to structure offense for Watson


  • The Houston Texans made a big trade Thursday night, forfeiting their 2018 first-round pick to move up 13 spots and draft QB Deshaun Watson out of Clemson.
  • Time is running short in Houston after another failed experiment at quarterback by Bill O’Brien’s regime.
  • The team were desperate for a signal-caller after giving up on Brock Osweiler after a disastrous season.
  • Watson could legitimately claim to be the top quarterback in this class, but his fit in Houston appears awkward.
  • Bill O’Brien runs a pro-style offense with deeper drops to test intermediate coverage.
  • In contrast, Watson played in a spread style attack at Clemson, relying on a number of short drops and quick-hitting passes to get into a rhythm.
  • Overall, the Tigers called 3-step drops on 45.1 percent of snaps in 2016, almost four times as often as Houston (12.2 percent).
  • Further highlighting the difference, Watson averaged a time to throw of 2.28 second, significantly faster than Houston’s quarterbacks’ average of 2.66.
  • One of Watson’s greatest assets is his accuracy on throws around the line of scrimmage; 14.1 percent of his passes were wide receiver screens in 2016.
  • Houston rarely employed the quick game last season, with Bill O’Brien calling wide screens on only 1.9 percent of plays.
  • Slow starts were a problem for Watson at times in 2016 – in particular in games against Troy, Georgia Tech, and Florida State – but once he found his rhythm, he was unstoppable.
  • Watson’s intelligence and work ethic suggests he can adapt to the Texans’ requirements, but his new head coach must tweak his offense to maximize his production.

Watson fit

  • edromeo

    PFF A Team,
    Watson’s doesn’t take a lot of sacks, has quick throwing motion and has a quick snap to throw time.
    Those traits remind me of a QB Obrien used to coach and may allow Obrien to run the type of passing game he really wants.
    I wonder what the Patriots 3 step drop % is?