Dabo Swinney says Deshaun Watson has intangibles of Joe Montana and Tom Brady

The case of Deshaun Watson is a curious one. Based on his college production, he should have been a surefire No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft. He slayed Nick Saban and the dangerous Alabama defense on the biggest stage, leading Clemson to a national championship, and nearly did it two years in a row. 

Watson did not fall that far, with the Texans giving up a future first-round pick to move up and grab him with the No. 12 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, but he dipped because no one has a consensus opinion on him. Some scouts and personnel men are concerned about his transition to the NFL from a spread attack, while others in and around football just believe he's one of those leaders that will get the job done.

Count Dabo Swinney, his old coach, among the second group. Swinney told Sarah Barshop of ESPN he believes Watson has the same "it" factor as the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. Swinney, who has previously compared Watson to Michael Jordan, this time likened his former pupil to Joe Montana and Tom Brady.

"[He's] uncommon. It's unbelievable," Swinney said. "I don't really know how to articulate what I know about him. And [comparing him to Michael Jordan] is the only way I know how to do it. All those great ones, the Michael Jordans, the Steph Currys, the LeBron Jameses, the Joe Montanas, the Tom Bradys ... there's a uniqueness to them. There's something to them. Yes, you can see talent. But there's this other stuff that you cannot see until you really get around it every day. 

"And that's what he's got. And how to articulate that, I don't really know, other than this is going to be a great '30 for 30' one of these days."

It's easier for Swinney to praise Watson, because the guy won him a title. He's probably a little biased, but he also has the experience of working with Watson and seeing how the rookie operates. Clemson offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said during Watson's final season the coaching staff broke the record for use of the word "wow" on their headsets while marveling at Watson's ability to pick up new things in the offense.

And while there are reports he might not have a fair shot at beating out Tom Savage for the starting job in Houston, the door has definitely been left open for Watson to end up starting. If Watson has the same intangibles that Swinney has praised him for repeatedly this offseason, then there is a pretty good chance he ends up forcing some hands in Houston. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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