Deshaun Watson is yet to play a down in the NFL, but the No. 12 pick in the draft is already getting rave training-camp reviews.
“He’s really impressed me,” former NFL linebacker and current Houston-area radio host Ted Johnson said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “He’s got great poise. All great players have that short memory. This guy can go throw a pick, forget about it, come back and make a big play. All the great ones I eve played against – whether it was Peyton Manning, Dan Marino, John Elway – it didn’t matter. Those guys would have a bad play and they’d come back and stab you in the heart on the next play. That Deshaun Watson kid has a similar-type build.”
Watson hopes to beat out Tom Savage for the starting job, but even if he does, he’ll be without Will Fuller, who broke his collarbone at practice Wednesday. Fuller, 23, could miss two to three months.
“It hurts because this is an element that this offense desperately needs, which is a deep threat,” Johnson said. “He’s a guy that can get behind the defense. He can kind of open it up for DeAndre Hopkins underneath and all these new running backs that they have in camp. So this is going to be a big loss.”
While Fuller is out, J.J. Watt is healthy and looking better than ever. The 28-year-old was limited to three games last season after undergoing back surgery.
“He’s unbelievable,” Johnson said. “He looks great. He doesn’t look like he’s missed a beat. He looks as strong and as powerful and as agile as I’ve ever seen him. What he’s been able to accomplish in his short career is nothing short of breathtaking. It’s incredible what he’s been able to do.”
Watt is a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and has twice led the league in sacks. Johnson believes Watt overtrained early in his career, but now’s he’s working smarter, not harder.
“He’s training smarter, he’s training more efficient, he’s not doing stuff in the offseason that threatened his health in the regular season,” Johnson said. “You hope you got a guy that’s learned how to be a pro, learned how to take care of his body so he can preserve it. I think he’s still got a lot of good football left in him.”
The Texans open the season at home against Jacksonville on Sept. 10. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET.