We are fully into the “red flag” portion of the draft season. Around this time, stories leak out about how teams might be concerned with a player’s character, or a certain part of their playing style, or their injury history, terming the issues “red flags.” Perhaps one of the more impressive red flags during the past few draft cycles was with Marcus Mariota. According to one evaluation, since there were no glaring issues with Mariota, that alone was a red flag.
One of the red flags that has been mentioned this draft season was the number of interceptions thrown by Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson. The junior threw 17 picks this past season, averaging more than one per contest. At first blush, that number seems very high, but as with decision-making, interceptions do not take place in a vacuum. On a given turnover, various factors can determine whether the quarterback was fully at fault, partly at fault, or whether the interception was through no fault of the QB at all.
In this video, I break down all 17 of the interceptions thrown by Watson this past season. There are some that are squarely on his shoulders, but many are either good plays by the defense, solid designs from the defensive coordinator, or tipped balls that could have been caught. After reviewing these one thing that stands out is there are minimal repeated mistakes, which is a good thing. If a quarterback continues to make the same mistakes and cannot fix the errors, that is a true red flag.
Follow @MarkSchofield on Twitter. Buy his book, 17 Drives. Check out his other work here, such as how Baker Mayfield is comfortable in chaos on the field, how Carson Wentz manipulates defenders, or his collection of work on the 2017 Senior Bowl Quarterbacks.