While Saturday’s Jets-Texans matchup features a pair of the NFL’s bright young quarterbacks in Sam Darnold and Deshaun Watson, Watson is excited to compete against a childhood friend and budding star, Jets safety Jamal Adams.
“He’s an active player. I came out with Jamal in high school, so I’ve been watching Jamal for a while,” he said. “Great friend of mine. He’s a high draft pick for a reason. He’s one of the best players in the league, if not one of the best safeties in the league. He’s been playing great football.
“He’s doing a good job for the New York Jets in being disruptive in the passing game and in the running game. He’s definitely a guy we have to make sure we keep our eyes on and be able to try to control.”
Adams has had a Pro Bowl caliber season as he ranks top-three among NFL safeties in quarterback hits (7), tackles for loss (8), forced fumbles (3), pass defenses (12), fumble recoveries (1) and sacks (2.5). The second-year player has also racked up 89 tackles, which ranks fifth among his position.
The 2017 No. 6 overall pick and Watson, who was selected six spots after Adams, befriended each other though camps in high school. Earlier this week, Adams described Watson as a phenomenal player and person.
Adams’ praise in Houston comes from more than just Watson as Texans head coach Bill O’Brien shared similar remarks about the LSU product.
“He’s probably one of the best,” O’Brien said of Adams. “I would say top-five defensive players we’ve played against in my five years here.”