NAME: Tre Watson
CONFERENCE: Big 10
CLASS: Redshirt Senior
JERSEY: No. 33
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 241 lbs
Football Intelligence –Can miss some opportunities to scrape and fill, can be inconsistent with his fits. Other times looks to get a little overaggressive to get over the top of plays and leaves the back-side cut back alley open. At his best when he can execute primary responsibility without thinking.
Tackling –Confident. Brings a lot of pop through his pads and can be a punishing finisher in the box. Has laid some impressive hits against slippery opposition, shows good closing burst and contact balance to carry himself into the body under control.
Block Shedding –Does not appear to have any notable separation skills. Prefers to push/pull his way off of blocks on the second level but efforts to do so often come at the expense of leverage: likes to duck under blocks and work himself out of favorable angles.
Competitive Toughness –Does well to maximize his range with effort. Does not show a lot of plus reps once he’s confronted with contact, however. Length limitations stand out as significant barrier to playing in high volume areas if tasked with uprooting blocks and finishing in the scrum.
Lateral Mobility –Scrapes over the play often lead him to the ball, but not at the line of scrimmage. Lacks that added extra juice to get down hill while flowing laterally and disrupting plays in that capacity. More agile in tight spaces to duck across the face of a blocker.
Coverage Skills –Logged an impressive 5 interceptions this year, was frequently tasked with prowling in the middle of the field. That said, doesn’t offer a whole lot of confidence in his drops, will drift without being held by receivers. Less effective as he’s forced to press deeper into the secondary.
Gap Shooting Ability –Lack of spring and anticipation prevent him from beating blockers to the point and quickly disrupting at the mesh point. Opportunities to make plays in the backfield were sparing, is more of a scrape finisher and flat footed read LB to find the football.
Feet/Change of Direction –Does have an ability to pick his way through traffic once he’s established a beat on the play. Short area mobility is complimented by short stride length to make alterations to his pursuit in tight spaces and keep himself clean before arriving balanced to the ball.
Flexibility –Doesn’t have great mobility through his hips, doesn’t get a lot of distance in his landmarks without having to flip his eyes away from the passer. Body control and leverage is more consistent when playing forward and looking to get under the pads of a ball carrier in space.
First Step Quickness –Does not have explosive first step and hasn’t yielded much pressure off of the second level. When he’s pre-assigned and able to cheat in before the snap, he can get hip to hip and attempt to push through contact.
BEST TRAIT – Tackling
WORST TRAIT – First Step Quickness
BEST FILM – Temple (2018)
WORST FILM – Michigan State (2018)
RED FLAGS – None
Tre Watson projects favorably as an inside linebacker in an odd front. Watson doesn’t necessarily have sideline to sideline range, but his presence as one of a combination of ILB in base packages would allow him to play firmly between the tackles and allow him to stay in shallow MOF coverage responsibilities, where he was most effective playing in zone. Watson could potentially play as a starter in a pinch, although his best value is likely as a rotational/depth player.