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Christian Watson

WR

North Dakota State

6'4"

Height

Weight

208

Bench
40-Time
10-Time
20-Time
18
4.36
Vertical
Broad
20-Shuttle
60-Shuttle
38 1/2"
11'4"
4.19
3-Cone
Hand
Arm
Wingspan
6.96
10 1/8"
32 3/4"
78 5/8"

7.49

Final Grade

Injury History

Games Evaluated

2021 - Albany, Northern Iowa, Missouri St

Team Fit

KC

CHI

GB

Strengths 

Watson's deep speed is the first thing that stands out on film. Truly runs right by defenders and is a homerun threat in the deep passing game. He also has incredible ball skills. First off, his hands are very reliable and he uses them when making contested catches. He does a great job of going up and getting the ball at its highest point as well. Watson is very dangerous with the ball in his hands. Obviously speed kills but he also has the ability to make defenders miss in the open field. His ability as a ball carrier and on special teams as a returner will help him find plenty of opportunities early in his career.

Weaknessess

Would like to see more from Watson as a route runner. He wasn't asked to run a very complex route tree in college likely due to the fact that he was the best player on the field most of the time and could win off pure speed and athleticism. Needs to show more urgency at the top of his routes and show the ability to create separation out of his release against press coverage. Also would just like to see a little more consistency as a blocker. The fact that he didn't play against high quality talent could also effect him as he will have to adjust quickly to not always being the best player on the field. However, he did show that he can hang with some top level talent at the Senior Bowl so that is a good sign.

Big Picture

Christian Watson is one of this year's examples of a small school prospect that has exploded up draft boards during his senior year and pre-draft process. Coming out of Tampa, Florida, Watson wasn't a super highly-touted recruit. He took a redshirt year in 2017 and saw some solid playing time the following season, catching nine passes for 165 yards. Saw his role expand tremendously as a sophomore, leading the team in receiving with 34 catches for 732 yards and six touchdowns. Also had 13 carries for 162 yards and a touchdown, His play earned him Second Team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference recognition. As a junior, he was named First Team All-Conference as a receiver after catching 19 passes for 492 yards and a touchdown in ten games. He was also named First Team All-American by many publications as a kick returner after finishing with 338 return yards and two touchdowns. Had his best season as a senior, finishing the year with 43 receptions for 801 yards and seven touchdowns, earning him First Team All-MVFC and AP Second Team All-American honors. Also had 227 kick return yards, 116 rushing yards, and one rushing touchdown, helping earn him First Team All-MVFC recognition as an all-purpose player as well. His play was also good enough for him to receive an invitation to the 2022 Reese's Senior Bowl and NFL Combine. At the next level, Watson projects best on the outside as a receiver but can be used in many different ways in an offense. He will truly thrive with a creative offensive mind that will look to simply get the ball in his hands. I see Watson being drafted in the late first-early secon round of the 2022 NFL Draft and being a key rotational player that will turn into a full-time starter if he plays to his full potential.

Player Comp

Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Athleticism:

7.38

Lateral Agility
Elusiveness
Play Strength
Burst
Deep Speed
7.3
7.3
7.1
7.4
7.8

Watson excels as an athlete. Has elite deep speed with the ability to simply run right by corners to create separation on fade routes. Shows burst once he gets going in his routes and after the catch when turning up into the open field. Has solid elusiveness in the open field with the ability to make smooth cuts to make defenders miss. Isn't super strong but has adequate enough play strenght to not get pushed around.

Route Running:

7.1

Release/Foot Quickness
Route Tree Variety
Separation
Body Control
Spacing/Timing
6.7
6.5
7.6
7.5

Big Play Ability

Doesn't show a ton of urgency at the top of his routes. Does show some form of foot quickness at times but isn't consistent. Didn't run a wide variety of routes in college. Mainly ran deep routes where he simply ran by defenders and quick routes to get the ball in his hands. Is more of a smooth route runner that shows great body control when running. Can create separation with his speed but not so much by making breaks in his routes. Shows good timing when in his routes, breaking at the right time to get to where his quarterback needs him. Also has a good understanding of empty space in zone coverage, sinking in his routes where he can be an open target.

Ball Skills:

7.5

Hands
Catch Radius
Contested Catch
High Points Ball
7.6
7.7
7.6

Has very reliable hands. Doesn't let the ball come into his body often, looking the ball in and securing it before making his next moves. Has an impressive catch radius and goes up to get the ball at the highest point. Can be trusted in contested catch situations. Will go up and win jump balls and also isn't afraid to look the ball in and catch it through contact.

Competitiveness:

7.4

Contact Balance
Blocking
Aggression/Toughness
Run After Catch
7.3
7.4
7.7

Plays with a great amount of toughness with the willingness to compete. Isn't afraid to take on contact. Shows solid contact balance with the ability to break the occasional arm tackle. Is outstanding after the catch. Has the speed to turn up the field and score from any part of the field. Also has the ability to make defenders miss in the open field. Is a willing blocker but can be overpowered at times and doesn't always stay locked in to his blocks.

Intelligence:

7.43

Shows solid instincts for the most part. Understands when to come back to the ball and when to settle in his routes. Also does a good job of tracking the ball over his shoulder in the deep passing game. Shows good route recognition and is able to adjust in space and break on his routes accordingly. As a receiver, is at his best on the outside but has taken snaps in the slot. His versatility comes from his ability to be used on jet sweeps and out of the backfield as a ball carrier while also being a dangerous returner on special teams.

Instincts
Coverage Recognition
Position Versatility
7.3
7.4
7.6