NFL Draft 2013: OT Menelik Watson scouting report

Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

There isn't a whole lot of explanation needed here. Seattle could certainly benefit from getting quicker and more athletic at right tackle, but there's more than that with Watson. He has the upside of an All-Pro lineman, and could be available to Seattle, perhaps two or three times in April's draft.

Here's my analysis:

Menelik Watson (VIEW VIDEO)
OT
#71
Florida State
0606 320
Manchester, Great Britain
Saddleback College (CA)

Positives: Long, wide body with prototypical length, flexibility and athleticism. Comes off the line and gets set quickly with a wide base and ideal bend. Does a good job of creating early contact and jarring his opponent with an explosive punch. Exhibits a fluid, balanced kick-slide enabling him to reach the edge with time to spare, and moves well laterally to ward off counter-moves.

Possesses raw upper body strength to rag-doll his opponent when he's able to establish inside hand position. Exhibits some "nasty" at the point of attack as a run blocker, with a knack for twisting and and bending his opponent to get him to the ground. Strong burst off the snap when asked to get down field and pick up defenders at the 2nd level. Flexibility and athleticism to break down and redirect in space with suddenness.

Negatives: Will get over-eager off the snap as a pass-protector and reach from his waste causing him to double over. Allows rusher into his frame too often by collapsing his arms and bending at the waste. Needs to continue "punching" when a rusher counters back inside, rather than dropping his hands and relying solely on his feet to wall-off the defender. Is not decisive when targeting in open space or at the 2nd level as a run blocker and will often miss opportunities by reacting to late.

Doesn't anticipate defender movement in space very well, and will whiff completely at times when attempting to take out a converging linebacker or safety. Sometimes will simply stop and look around while the play is still going, as if he doesn't know where to be.

Compares to: Tyron Smith, OT, Dallas Cowboys - I'm not on the "Watson is the next Walter Jones" bandwagon for one simple reason. Instincts. And in this case, the lack thereof. There's no doubt that Watson has the athletic upside to be an All-Pro tackle in the NFL, but if he quits studying the game, he could end up being more of a Jason Smith or Alex Barron type than a Walter Jones type.

I compare him to Smith here because physically, he's built very similarly in terms of the long arms and muscular frame, to go with superb agility and natural quickness. Technically, Watson grades out in the 4th or 5th round range, but sometimes you have to put a premium on this kind of upside which is what I think will happen with a lot of teams, resulting in a 2nd or early 3rd-round selection.

Seahawks Fit: Who doesn't want to add a guy with this kind of athleticism and natural ability? Seattle has a good O-line, but by no means are they above getting better, particularly at guard and right tackle, the latter of which is where a guy like Watson could provide immediate competition, with future Pro Bowl upside.

He's the perfect blend of size and speed for Tom Cable's scheme, and would be able to sit and learn for a year without having to be forced into the fire too early.

You can find more of Derek's analysis at his Seahawks-centric draft, free agency, & pro player personnel site called "ScoutTheSeahawks." Head over and bookmark it - he maintains a really great free agent tracker in addition to his Draft focus that is much more in-depth than most places because of his background doing deep scouting of NFL Draft prospects.

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Editor's note: I wrote a piece on Watson as well, but it's always good to get multiple perspectives on players.

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