Earlier this month at the NFL Scouting Combine, we polled four national media members on various topics concerning the Texans and the AFC South. The results are featured in our exclusive five-part series this week on HoustonTexans.com.
We asked, "The best quarterback in the AFC South is __?"
Jenny Vrentas, senior writer for Sports Illustrated and The MMQB:
"I would say Watson as well when he's healthy. I know we didn't see a lot of him last season, but he was so dynamic and that game-changing quarterback that everyone thought he could be coming out of Clemson. Now he's really spectacular to see on the big stage. Also, I think there was so much of a reaction around the league when he was hurt was such disappointment for this rising talent. He might not be the best quarterback yet, but I think he can be."
Albert Breer, senior NFL reporter for The MMQB:
"That's tricky. If healthy, I think it's Andrew Luck. If healthy, I don't think there's much question. Right now it would be Andrew Luck. Look, Deshaun Watson was spectacular for about a month last year before he got hurt. We've seen flashes from Marcus Mariota and I think he's got a good offensive coach in Matt LaFleur going in there now. You've got great potential with Watson and Mariota, but if Andrew Luck is healthy and he's taking steps in that direction, I think he's the best quarterback. If he's not healthy, I think it's a legitimate argument between Watson and Mariota. I think Deshaun did enough to put himself in the conversation. You can make an argument that going into 2018, expectations should be just as high for him as they are for Mariota."
Matthew Berry, ESPN's senior fantasy football analyst:
"It's Deshaun Watson. Look, I look at everything from the fantasy perspective – that's my job. He's by far the guy I have ranked the highest, even over Andrew Luck - assuming fully healthy Andrew Luck. I'd still prefer Deshaun Watson over Andrew Luck this year."
Greg Cosell, NFL analyst and senior producer at NFL Films:
"I would answer that with a caveat. I think if he's healthy, Andrew Luck is the best quarterback in the division. If he's not healthy, then you have an interesting conversation between Marcus Mariota coming off a bad season but with a new coaching staff and Deshaun, who's obviously had a small sample size, but a good sample size. That's my cop-out answer."
Ian Rapoport, NFL Network insider:
"I'd like to know if Andrew Luck is healthy. If he is, he is the best. I would imagine there are a couple guys that are pretty close. The way Deshaun is going, I would say he's getting there."
Check out some of the best photos of QB Deshaun Watson during his rookie season.