Deshaun Watson worth 'at least' three first-round picks in a trade, says NFL exec

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Nick Goss
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Watson worth 'at least' three first-round picks in a trade, says NFL exec originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Any NFL team with interest in acquiring Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson via trade better be willing to ante up a ton of first-round draft picks.

How many, exactly?

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler talked to several execs and evaluators around the league, and three first-rounders was a common theme in conversations about Watson's trade value.

"Oh yeah -- he's worth at least that," an NFC exec told Fowler. "The haul would be pretty insane."

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Watson's future in Houston has become one of the hottest topics in pro football over the last few weeks as reports about his unhappiness with the franchise have emerged. A report from Sports Illustrated quoted one person close to Watson saying the star QB "just wants out." 

This tweet from ESPN's Adam Schefter over the weekend also was interesting:

The Texans would be smart to make draft capital the foundation of any potential trade involving Watson. Securing a high first-rounder in the 2021 NFL Draft should be a priority as well. The 2021 draft class is loaded with impressive quarterback talent, with as many as five players at the position likely to be selected in Round 1.

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Houston doesn't own its 2021 first-round pick because it was sent to the Miami Dolphins as part of the Laremy Tunsil trade in 2019. If the Texans could acquire a top 10 pick in the 2021 draft and be able to replace Watson with another promising young quarterback, that would be ideal for Houston.

Of course, the best possible outcome for the Texans is repairing their relationship with Watson and finding a way to keep him in Houston long-term. He's the best quarterback the franchise has ever had, and he's also coming off the finest season of his young career.