One of the most hotly-debated prospects heading into the NFL draft is Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, who just led his team to a national championship and has shot up many draft boards. Watson’s preparation for the draft is a notable story, and something lots of media outlets would love to gain behind-the-scenes access to. But which one actually pulled it off? Interestingly enough, it was NFL Media’s own original content group. They’re doing a six-part series of short documentary videos of Watson’s preparation leading up to the draft, including his move to California to train with Jordan Palmer (the former NCAA and NFL quarterback, and Carson Palmer’s younger brother). The first one was released Thursday night on the NFL Network’s NFL Total Access. Here it is:
There’s some interesting stuff in there, especially the part with Watson’s family asking him to sign a cap for a friend’s granddaughter (1:35), Watson talking about how this is “the biggest job interview of my life” (1:55), and his interactions with Palmer, especially the goal-setting and path to get there that starts at 2:53. This segment is mostly introduction, but it does let us see some notable glimpses of Watson and the people around him as he works to get set for the draft.
This is a bit of a risk for Watson, of course, along the lines of how participating in documentary series like Hard Knocks or All Or Nothing can be risky for NFL teams if something negative comes out. Still, these kinds of series can also make the team or player in question look good. Watson’s also perhaps smart to capitalize on the pre-draft interest in him by allowing this kind of access and taking advantage of one of his moments of fame.
Doing these as short segments also makes good sense. For one thing, the NFL has a natural home for those on Total Access. For another, it helps space out Watson’s journey a bit, and it means that we don’t get overwhelmed by particular goal-setting sessions or training montages. These also could get a fair amount of play online, as it’s easier to convince someone to watch a four- or five-minute video than a half-hour or hour one. There will certainly be plenty of interest in Watson leading up to the draft, and it seems likely there’s a substantial potential audience for these videos. We’ll see how the future ones play out, but this is a very nice get for NFL Media’s original content group.
The next episode of One Shot will premiere on Total Access this coming Thursday, March 2, just ahead of the NFL combine.