Clemson coach Dabo Swinney doubled down on the claim he made in January that the Browns forgoing national championship-winning quarterback Deshaun Watson in April's draft would be akin to passing on Michael Jordan.
"Some of the media folks got mad at me because I said if you pass on him you’re passing on Michael Jordan. But I don’t know how to articulate the type of greatness that’s inside of him," Swinney said Thursday during Clemson's pro day, according to the Charlotte Observer. "And for me that’s what Michael Jordan represents because that’s what I grew up with.
"I’m sure when Michael Jordan was coming out of North Carolina his 3-pointer wasn’t very good. And he probably had some flaws, whatever, when you start poking holes on him. But it’s who he was, that will, that drive. You can’t coach that and that’s what I want to make sure I articulate. This guy is brilliant between the ears and he’s special in his heart."
All 32 NFL teams were represented at Clemson's pro day, but neither coach Hue Jackson nor head of football operations Sashi Brown were part of the Browns' contingent.
Jackson and Brown were not in attendance because the Browns will hold a private workout and visit with Watson before April's draft and were believed to be conducting a workout Thursday with another top-rated quarterback prospect, according to Cleveland.com. The Browns have the first and 12th overall picks.
Watson received mixed reviews for his pro day throwing session.
NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said on the air Watson had a "very impressive workout."
NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah tweeted that a scout at Clemson's pro day told him Watson's timing and placement were inconsistent but his deep throws were solid.
"It was a B-/C+ type workout," the scout told Jeremiah.
Watson completed 54-of-62 passes, according to the Associated Press. He also took snaps under center, something he'll need to adjust to in the NFL after operating out of the shotgun in Clemson's spread offense.