WR North Dakota State 6-4 208 SR #1
GRADE: 90 OVR RANK: 26 POS RANK: 4
ARM LENGTH: 32 ½”//HAND SIZE: 10 1/8”//40YD: 4.36 (97%)//10YD: 1.45 (100%)
VJ: 38 ½” (91%)//BJ: 11’04” (100%)//BP: 18 (88%)//SS: 4.19 (73%)//3C: 6.96 (64%)
Projection: Starting outside WR who can win immediately in a West Coast scheme – if he can fix his eminently fixable issues – could be scheme diverse. Early Round 2 ~ GrindingTheMocks.com
Ravens Fit: He’s a tough guy who plays with a physicality reminiscent of Ravens WRs. You can see him hard-charge around using his speed to make game-breaking blocks. High effort guy. He also has the kind of athleticism the Ravens look for in a WR, with ridiculous speed and explosion. He’s a good scheme fit too on the face of it, however, the one thing the Ravens need to add to their WR room, is a contested catch guy, and while Watson is physical and has the potential to do this, his biggest flaw right now is catching the ball over his head – this might give the Ravens some pause and leaves him just short of a red star.
Overall Fit 4/5
Plays mostly Z, some X and almost always outside, was used in motion on occasion and on ends-around to get the ball in his hands with blockers in front.
Before the Catch
Very good release with his footwork from press coverage. He has elite explosion and acceleration and he puts it to good effect when facing press coverage without a jam, both in executing single moves and speed releases. He is very difficult to cover out of the blocks initially if not jammed. It allows him to win quickly on shorter routes such as slants. He has a plan with how to win with his footwork and this extends to when he faces off and bail coverage, effectively utilizing a pressure step to attack the DBs technique and get his hips turned ready for the break, especially effective to set up softer-angle deep routes like posts and corners. If facing a DB with length and good hand placement, he can’t yet deploy his own good length and strength because of his hand placement and timing. He can be late to wipe the DBs hands and isn’t accurate with his hands. DBs can then get stuck on him early and prevent him from getting a quick release into his route. His processing also shows up when he quickly identifies the quick-jam is coming and uses a slide step to avoid it and get out into the route quickly.
He wins at the top of his routes with play strength, explosion and acceleration out of his breaks. His explosive ability isn’t maximized to separate due to some technical inconsistencies. He takes too many steps with too much foot fire on two-step breaks. He sinks his weight and snaps his head out of the break but it takes him too long to turn his hips and its in a jerk-y motion rather than being fluid. The threat of his speed on double moves does allow him to create separation in these instances and he will openly fake a double move on dig routes but he could be more technically sound with these routes and less reliant on the threat of his speed. On speed cuts he will make the transition in four yards rather than two and has some rise to him, allowing the defender into the route. On bam steps, he has nice play strength at the break-point, he uses an elbow jam and can chicken wing the defender to help his acceleration out of his break.
The Catch and after the Catch
He doesn’t consistently catch outside of his frame and can let the ball into his body on the move and stationary on underneath routes. He has good concentration though and knows how to use his body to protect the football. His ball tracking is good but he doesn’t always adjust to balls well when running sideways and on balls thrown over his outside shoulder. When he has to catch the ball over his head, he doesn’t time bringing his hands together to make the catch. Ridiculous speed and acceleration and wins with this on YAC
Scary speed/explosion that he deploys well from press and in the route. Some things to fix when facing a jam, separating with skill, not just athleticism, and catching balls over his head.
SR: 62 Tgts, 43 Recs, 801 Rec Yards (18.6 Ave), 7 Rec TDs SO: 57 Tgts, 34 Recs, 734 Rec yards (21.6 Ave), 6 Rec TDs
INJURY: Missed 3 Games (SR) hamstring injury