Tabeek's 2021 NFL Mock Draft 7.0: Texans trade Deshaun Watson for No. 1 pick, Falcons trade down
By Matthew Tabeek
If the 2020 regular season wasn't hard enough for Texans fans, the offseason might actually look and feel worse than that forgettable 4-12 finish.
J.J. Watt, a fixture in the Texans lineup since 2011 and one of the city's most beloved athletes, has requested his release and it's been granted.
Deshaun Watson would reportedly like to follow in former teammate's footsteps, but the Texans have "zero interest" in parting ways with their 25-year-old star quarterback.
At least, for now.
The 2021 NFL Draft is exactly nine weeks from today and I think things in Space City are going to get interesting in the coming weeks. And while Watson has a no-trade clause in his contract, he reportedly approved trades to only three teams – the Jets, Dolphins and Panthers.
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that list might expand.
So, without further ado, here is mock draft 7.0 with the updated draft order (see order explanation at the bottom of the page).
- Texans receive: No. 1 overall (2021), No. 25 overall (2021), second-round pick (2022), second-round pick (2023)
- Jaguars receive: QB Deshaun Watson, No. 100 overall (2021)
Houston Texans: I get all the reasons why a Texans-Jaguars trade might not work.
- They're division rivals.
- The asking price might be too high.
- The Jags aren't on Watson's preferred list.
- The Jags might think Trevor Lawrence will be just as good.
- Watson's agent, David Mulugheta, also represents Jalen Ramsey.
- And on and on ...
But maybe, just maybe, it could work.
And if there's a team that has the draft capital to make it happen, it's Jacksonville. The Jags currently hold 11 picks in this coming draft. And for a trade to work, it has to make sense for both sides. In this scenario the Texans unload a player who never wants to play a single down again for them and, in return, they get the top-rated prospect in this class who many think will be special at the next level. Just like Watson. You see? Win-win.
- Needs: WR, CB, DE, S
New York Jets: The Jets also hold a boatload of draft picks – 10, in fact – and also happen to be on Deshaun Watson's preferred list. They could go in a number of directions here, but I think the new coaching staff will turn the page on Sam Darnold and take former BYU star Zach Wilson here. Wilson is sneaky fast, slippery in the open field, processes things quickly, is accurate and makes good decisions. I've made it clear who he reminds me of. He's just too good to pass up.
- Needs: QB, EDGE, CB