Hand Technique/Length – He has some really nice hand counters and shedding techniques, effective in dropping hands off his chest at first punch and ripping through contact. He's a little slow to counter if hands get established on his numbers, though.
Competitive Toughness – He's a really sturdy player who shows a good anchor and good effort in pursuit. He can get his shoulders turned a little too easily and once he does he's essentially eliminated from working across the face of blocks. Keep him in a phone booth and he'll win.
Two Gap Ability – He's got the needed anchor. He'll win despite some inconsistencies with feeling the block, he'll get lost in the shuffle from time to time and needs to trust his hands and feeling blockers to direct him to his scrape.
Gap Penetration Skills – He's powerful and with his stride length and secondary acceleration he can push through lateral challenges if he's not confronted head up when taking off from the snap. He has some nice redirect to mirror the football too.
Tackling – Like what he offers when he's uncovered. He can work between the tackles with ease and has enough range with his wingspan and tilt through his torso to extend for a challenge. Good hustle and effort put him into the back hip of ball carriers when POA is stuffed up.
Flexibility – There's enough tilt and lean here for him to carry himself around the hip of a guard and flatten to the passer as he's pushed through a crease. He's a little stiff out of his stance to pop straight up but he shows good hinges to bend and anchor up front when stacking blocks.
Pass Rush Counters – Love his work in the B-gap. Really effective chop, rip combo to drop hands and sweep them through. He's too slow to bring a counter once he's squared up, though. He's going to be a single gap rusher, don't ask him to loop or twist or stunt, lacks suddenness.
First Step Quickness – First movement here is up, not out. He robs himself of some of that spring because he's too quick to gain elevation. He takes long strides and gets faster in steps two, three and four to help mask but often times takes a shallow first step.
Feet/Change Of Direction – Not overly nimble and his mobility is most restricted when he's trying to flatten and scrape while still pressed out on a blocker. He doesn't have a lot of suddenness on sharp angles, he's more of a bend and tilt player to carry pace and speed through his redirects.
Versatility – I think he can offers something for any kind of front. As either a two gap defender or as a gap penetration player, he's got just enough to warrant reps. He has some three down upside as well provided he cleans up his first step out of stance when trying to burst ahead.
BEST TRAIT – Hand Technique
WORST TRAIT – Explosiveness
BEST FILM – Vanderbilt (2018)
WORST FILM – Auburn (2018)
RED FLAGS – None
A late bloomer, Watts didn't get significant playing time until his senior season. But he made the most of it, generally flashing more advanced hand counters and techniques than one would expect to see from a one year starter at the position. Watts has impressive challenges of blocks and like his functional play strength to be a sturdy presence along the line of scrimmage. Look for Watts to bloom late in the pros, too...he's behind in his reps. But he's got some upside to start.
Round Grade - Fifth Round