North Dakota State wide receiver Christian Watson is making a jump in competition at the 2022 Senior Bowl, but it didn’t phase the 6-foot-4, 211-pound speedster who impressed on the first day of practices on Tuesday. Watson said at Wednesday’s media session that he models his game after Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Mike Evans, and it makes sense. While not exactly the same physical profile as Evans, who weighs 231 pounds and has 35-inch arms, Watson’s ability to beat defenders with size and speed is reminiscent of Evans’ game. “It’s been a natural flow for me,” Watson told TDN of the uptick in the level of competition. “I feel like I’ve played against a lot of very talented players in my history of playing at NDSU and I think it’s prepared me to play at the highest level I can possibly play. I feel like that’s transitioned really smoothly to this level.” Watson finished the 2021 season with 43 catches for 800 yards and seven touchdowns. His speed is clear on tape, but he knows it’ll take more than just running fast to have a successful NFL career. “To be at my size and do the things that I do, that quick twitch and still being able to have that speed coming into and out of my breaks,” Watson told TDN. “Even at my size, and being able to combine that with my catch radius and the things that I’m able to utilize, that speed and that size. I’ll be able to make plays that other receivers can’t.” That quick twitch and catch radius was on display in several reps Tuesday and has his arrow pointing up for the rest of the week. https://twitter.com/JohnJHendrix/status/1488586116148211714 Here’s another look at how Watson’s appealing physical make-up will help him win on the next level. https://twitter.com/Djbienaime/status/1488584931861319682 Watson was among the winners of Tuesday’s practice, but he still has some work to do to overtake Nevada’s Romeo Doubs, who stood out to me as the top pass-catcher from day one. Watson is currently ranked 16th on TDN’s 2022 NFL Draft rankings and 104th overall. He looked better than that after one practice, and he was equally impressive off the field with his interviews. That matters in his overall evaluation. Whether Watson improves his grade from that fourth-round range will depend on how he finishes Senior Bowl week and what he’s able to do at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine and his pro day. But his strong film and fast start in Mobile, Alabama has him moving in the right direction.
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