The Houston Texans got lucky when the Chicago Bears passed on Deshaun Watson at the 2017 NFL Draft.
The Chicago Bears traded up in the 2017 NFL Draft to select quarterback Mitchell Trubisky with the second overall pick. The Houston Texans later traded up in the same draft to select quarterback Deshaun Watson. Now that we are entering year three for both players, it couldn’t be more obvious that the Bears made the mistake passing on Watson.
In each of their rookie seasons, Trubisky had 2,441 combined rushing and passing yards and nine total touchdowns in 12 starts, leading the Bears to a 4-8 record. By comparison, Watson had 1,968 combined rushing and passing yards and 21 touchdowns in six starts before suffering a season-ending ACL tear.
Watson led the Texans to a 3-3 record during his six starts, and was even in the MVP discussion. Watson literally played in half the number of games as Trubisky during their rookie season, and had more than twice the number of touchdowns as Trubisky. Not to mention, Watson had 61.8 completion percentage compared to Trubisky at 59.4.
Last season — which was the second season for each player — Watson had 31 total touchdowns and 4,716 combined yards, compared to 27 total touchdowns and 3,644 yards from Trubisky. Trubisky had a starting record of 11-3 whereas Watson’s was 11-5. The Texans and the Bears both went to the playoffs and each lost in the Wild Card round.
Watson was actually sacked 62 times compared to Trubisky’s 24 sacks, and posted a completion percentage of 68.3-percent compared to Trubisky’s 66.6-percent. Both players had good seasons, but Watson’s was significantly better despite being sacked more than twice as often as Trubisky.
It’s not as if anyone is saying Watson isn’t the better player of the two, but it’s saying how colossal of a mistake the Bears made by passing on Watson, not to mention the Bears also passed on Patrick Mahomes, who was the 2018 NFL MVP with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Although Trubisky isn’t a bad quarterback, he’s not an MVP level player, which Watson clearly is. It’s not something that should be a shock either, as the Bears took Trubisky despite only starting one season at North Carolina, leading them to loss in the Sun Bowl to Stanford. On the flip side, Watson led Clemson to two national championship appearances against Alabama. With Watson at the helm, Clemson went 1-1 in those games, but Watson put up ungodly numbers, throwing for at least 400 yards and three touchdowns in each game.
The Texans start-and-stop with Watson, whereas Trubisky’s Bears are carried by their defense, which is arguably the best in the league, especially after they acquired Khalil Mack before the start of last season.
As a Texans fan, I’m glad the Bears passed on Watson because the Texans clearly got the better player of the two.