Before the 2017 draft, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said that passing on quarterback Deshaun Watson would be the equivalent of passing on Michael Jordan. The Bears nevertheless rolled the dice on the quarterback from Jordan’s college.
And they possibly passed on both Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson.
Trubisky’s latest performance apparently sparked the dusting off of comments made by Watson in the days prior to the 2017 draft, regarding the notion of taking Trubisky before Watson. Our tweet from April 2017 containing Watson’s quotes has resurfaced.
“You’re gonna have to live with the consequences that come with it,” Watson said told NFL Network regarding a decision to draft Trubisky over Watson. “That’s how I see it. I try to stay in my lane. I try not to take the path. I respect Mitch and what he’s done and all the hype he’s getting, but at the same time, my result speaks for itself. I feel like I’ve accomplished everything that I could. I guess if that’s who they’re gonna roll with, so be it.”
Watson starred at Clemson, in the same conference as Trubisky’s North Carolina.
“It’s like a slap in the face, to be honest,” Watson separately told Josina Anderson of ESPN as to the prospect of Trubisky being the first quarterback drafted. “You see all the things I’ve accomplished, it’s a long list, and they want to talk about the little negatives I have and bring somebody else up? It’s a little disrespectful.”
History has proven Watson to be accurate. Although Trubisky showed promise in 2018, this year has gone poorly for Trubisky and the Chicago offense. While it may still improve, there’s a growing sense that Trubisky will never measure up to Watson or Patrick Mahomes, both of whom were taken after Trubisky.
That’s not a knock on Trubisky. He didn’t draft himself before Watson; the Bears did. To make matters worse, the Bears traded up a spot to get Trubisky.
Those dynamics place even more pressure on Trubisky to live up to the early-career performances of guys like Watson and Mahomes. Although Watson may not be one to say “I told you so,” he doesn’t need to.