Deshaun Watson is about five months away from the deadline to decide whether he will enter the 2017 NFL Draft as an underclassman, and the Clemson star quarterback is already insured like a player with draft value.
Watson has a $5 million insurance policy against a career-ending injury, and $5 million more in coverage against loss of value in the draft, a school spokesman confirmed. ESPN first reported the details of his insurance policies. A loss-of-value policy is meant to protect Watson in the event that an injury causes him to fall in the draft. Such policies vary, as some provide a partial payout for a more mild slip in the draft, and a full payout for a steeper fall.
Such policies are commonplace now for top draft prospects. LSU running back Leonard Fournette, for instance, has twice as much coverage as Watson. Watson's premiums will be covered by the school, which also is a common practice. Watson and Fournette will both be juniors this fall, and could be available in next year's draft if they apply for early draft eligibility after the season.
Durability was a concern for Watson in his freshman season at Clemson, which included multiple injuries including a torn ACL against rival South Carolina. Last year, however, Watson started every game of a 15-game season that ended in the College Football Playoff title game against Alabama.
In the days following that game, an NFL quarterbacks coach said Watson could be the No. 1 pick of the 2017 draft.