Swinney just can’t help himself when it comes to talking about Watson. He told reporters that if the Cleveland Browns pass on Watson with the No. 1 pick it would be like “passing on Michael Jordan.”
I understand what Swinney is doing and I’m sure he thinks he’s doing Watson a favor by constantly praising him and talking about how great he is, but NFL teams aren’t often swayed by the prospect’s former coach praising him publicly. NFL teams usually choose to get their information privately from coaches, other staffers and even teammates, off the official record when determining a prospect’s character and how they handle themselves in practices and the meeting room.
Now, it’s important to note that this is the Browns, who once took draft advice from a homeless guy, so I guess this public pressure could work. But even if it does, Swinney isn’t doing his former quarterback any favors by comparing him to Michael Jordan. Watson could be great. He could turn out to be the best NFL quarterback of all-time. But most likely he won’t, and that’s fine, but that’s what he’s setting the bar at by comparing him to Jordan.
It’s a long road to becoming a great NFL quarterback, especially so if drafted by the lowly Browns. If fans are expecting Michael Jordan, they’re likely to be sorely disappointed early if Watson is drafted by the Browns. That’s not because Watson can’t come into the NFL and have Dak Prescott-like immediate success in the right situation. It’s that the Browns are most certainly not the right situation to come in and have wild success immediately.
This is a team that was a dumpster fire almost across the board and has significant holes all over the offense, not just at quarterback. The offensive line was an unmitigated disaster outside of left tackle Joe Thomas. Terrelle Pryor was a surprising bright spot in an otherwise lackluster receiving corps, and Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson are solid but neither would be considered high-level running back options.
In short, Dabo should probably calm down on telling the media (who then tell the fans) that Watson is the greatest thing since sliced bread, because the chances that Watson can live up to what he’s saying with the Cleveland Browns are almost nil.