If the Texans Did Not Draft Deshaun Watson, Bruce Arians and the Cardinals Were Ready to Select Him
Patrick D. Starr
Tampa Bay Buccaneers' head coach Bruce Arians met with the media on Tuesday to discuss the Houston Texans. When asked about quarterback Deshaun Watson, Arians made it clear that if the Texans did not draft him with the #12 overall selection, the Arizona Cardinals were.
Arians was the head coach of the Cardinals for five seasons before moving on after the 2017 season.
"He would have been drafted in the next pick," Arians said, laughing.
Watson and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes slid down the draft board due to their style of play at the college level. Arians felt like the two were labeled as dual-threat quarterbacks and not the conventional pocket passer that the NFL has been looking for.
Arians now admits that Watson and Mahomes are the types of quarterbacks NFL teams are looking for to run their offenses in today's game.
"Now, with Lamar's (Jackson) success, his success. People are looking for that guy now, you know. Same with Pat Mahomes, you know, different style athlete, but that quarterback class is special."
Watson and Arians' friendship started when he was a student-athlete at Clemson. Arians and Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney have the same agent, and Arians would visit Clemson often to get a closer look at the Tigers football team.
"I like Bruce," Watson said of the Buccaneers head coach. "That's my guy. I've known Bruce. He used to come around, especially when Dabo (Swinney), when we had a couple of games in Arizona when he was still the coach there — just being able to – recruiting trip of the pre-draft trip."
Watson continued, "He's always been a fan of mine, I've always been a fan of his, and we communicated, and that's pretty dope from a legendary coach like him. It gives me a lot of confidence and a lot of momentum and motivation to keep striving to be great."
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