Texans trade up to get Clemson QB Watson

RICHARD SHIRO/Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) – The Houston Texans addressed their need at quarterback by trading with Cleveland to select Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson with the 12th overall pick in the NFL draft on Thursday night.

The Texans traded away the 25th overall pick in this year’s draft as well as their first-round selection next season to nab Watson.

The Browns already have Houston’s second-round pick in 2018 after receiving it in the trade for Brock Osweiler this offseason. Houston was in desperate need of a quarterback after giving up on Osweiler and trading him away one inconsistent season after signing him to a $72 million contract in 2016.

The only quarterbacks on their roster before the draft were Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden, giving Watson a great chance to start as a rookie.

This is the first time the Texans have selected a quarterback in the first round since taking David Carr with the first overall pick in their first season.

Watson threw for 4,593 yards and 41 touchdowns last season to lead Clemson to the national title.

The two-time Heisman Trophy finalist led Clemson to 28 wins in his last two seasons and to consecutive appearances in the national championship game. Watson went 32-3 in his career as a starter, which is the best winning percentage for a quarterback in school history. He finished his career third in Atlantic Coast Conference history with 12,094 yards of total offense and threw for 10,163 yards and 90 touchdowns in his career.

He joins a team featuring star receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who also went to Clemson. Hopkins, Houston’s first-round pick in 2013, expressed his excitement about the pick by simply tweeting a smiling face emoji soon after he was selected.

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