After a remarkable performance against a defense that was talked about as being among the best in college football history, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson announced he is turning pro.
"It's my time to go," Watson told reporters Monday night after leading Clemson to a 35-31 victory over previously unbeaten Alabama in the national title game.
The 49ers own the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. If the 49ers have not filled their need for a potential franchise quarterback after the first seven weeks of the new league year with a free agent or trade, Watson figures to be in the conversation as an early draft pick.
Watson completed 36 of 56 passes for 420 yards and three touchdowns against Alabama. He also gained 43 yards and a touchdown rushing.
The winning points came with :01 remaining when Watson found Hunter Renfrow on a 2-yard touchdown pass to cap a nine-play, 68-yard drive that took 2 minutes, 6 seconds.
As Clemson's full-time starter in 2015 and '16, Watson completed 67.4 percent of his pass attempts while averaging 8.1 yards per attempt with 76 touchdown passes and 30 interceptions.
North Carolina's Mitch Trubisky, who also figures to get consideration for the No. 1 quarterback in the draft, announced Monday he is foregoing his senior season, too.
Texas A&M pass-rusher Myles Garrett is widely considered the top NFL prospect in the draft. The Cleveland Browns have No. 1 overall pick. ESPN recently reported, citing a source close to the situation, the Browns have an "astronomical grade" on Garrett.