Grading the Big 5: Week-by-week grades for Deshaun Watson

Editor's note: analysts and former NFL scouts Bucky Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah will grade the performances of 5 top prospects each week of the 2016 season. Click the tabs above to see their marks.

Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson

Cumulative season grade: B+


Stats: 14-of-24 for 266 yards, 4 TDs. 8 carries for 28 yards (3.5 average). (at Boston College)
Skinny: This was one of Watson's better games. He threw several pretty deep balls and he also was very effective throwing on the move. He made great decisions on run-pass option plays and he was effective as a ball carrier. I'd like to see him become a little more aware inside the pocket. He didn't feel and react to pressure on a couple different occasions, one of which led to a fumble. Overall, this was a winning performance for Watson. -- Daniel Jeremiah


Stats: 20-of-31 for 306 yards, 5 TDs, 3 INTs. 14 carries for 91 yards (6.5 average) (vs. Louisville)
Skinny: Watson repeatedly missed open receivers on intermediate routes between the numbers and his miscues kept the Tigers from cashing on a few big-play opportunities against the Cardinals. To his credit, Watson made all of the throws that he needed to make when the game was on the line, including a couple of strikes to WR Mike Williams and TE Jordan Leggett in the fourth quarter. In addition, he showed tremendous poise and confidence in the critical stages of the game while directing the Tigers to a gutsy win against a top-five opponent. In the end, quarterbacks are ultimately judged by their ability to win games, particularly when they aren't on their game. Watson has repeatedly demonstrated that he can win big games with or without his A game. -- Bucky Brooks


Stats: 32-of-48 for 304 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT. 12 rushes for 36 yards (3.0 average) (at Georgia Tech)
Skinny: Watson had a very solid game against Georgia Tech. He connected on several drive throws down the field and also picked up some key yards with his legs. His overall accuracy was a little spotty but I thought he did a nice job of maneuvering within the pocket and delivering the ball where it was supposed to go. His one interception was on a miscommunication with his receiver. Overall, Watson looks like he's starting to get more comfortable after a somewhat disappointing start to the season. -- Daniel Jeremiah


Stats: 12-of-15 for 152 yards, 3 TDs (vs. South Carolina State)
Skinny: There's nothing like playing a cupcake to help a struggling star get back on track. Not that Watson was playing as poorly as same have reported, but he definitely hasn't played at the sensational level that led many to tout him as the top quarterback in college football. Against South Carolina State, Watson was back on his game, exhibiting better poise and accuracy. Although the game against the Bulldogs was nothing more than a glorified scrimmage, the reps helped Watson regain his confidence and rhythm from the pocket. With a looming showdown with Louisville and Lamar Jackson on the horizon, Watson needed a game like this to help rediscover the swagger and sizzle that's made him one of the top players in the country. -- Bucky Brooks


Stats: 27-of-53 for 292 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs. 10 carries for 55 yards (5.5 average) (vs. Troy)
Skinny: This was far from a perfect performance, but I thought Watson played better than the stat line indicated. After studying the tape, Clemson wide receivers dropped more than a handful of perfectly thrown balls. Watson did have an issue locking on targets, which led to his two interceptions. However, he produced some big plays down the field and escaped pressure several times. -- Daniel Jeremiah


Stats: 19-of-34 for 248 yards, TD, INT (at Auburn)
Skinny: The 2015 Heisman Trophy finalist wasn't at his best against Auburn, but he played well enough to guide the Tigers to a win. Although he was slightly off the mark on a handful of intermediate throws, he showed impressive touch on a post-corner to Hunter Renfrow for a score and Mike Williams on a back-shoulder fade in the fourth quarter. In addition, Watson showed impressive running skills on a slippery run to pick up a critical first down. Overall, Watson didn't deliver a spectacular performance littered with highlights, but he made the critical plays needed when it mattered most. That's what franchise quarterbacks are expected to do in big games. -- Bucky Brooks

Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter @MoveTheSticks.

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.

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