Armani Watts (S, Texas A&M) – 72

Armani Watts is a befuddling prospect.  If you watch the Arkansas game from 2016, he looks like a surefire 1st round pick.  If you watch the Tennessee game, you would see him as a Day 3/UDFA type.  Clearly, he needs to become more consistent (Cue the Stating the Obvious sirens).  What are Watt’s strengths?  Well, he is fast, rangy, decisive in coverage and closes with speed and explosiveness upon the ball.  Athletically, he’s what you’re looking for in a free safety.  I really like the way he goes after the ball; in both the games mentioned above, Watts makes a really good – and deliberate – strip of the football; once from Alvin Kamara (1Q: 7:51 v Tennessee) and once from Rawleigh Williams (2Q 8:12 v Arkansas).  In both cases, the offence looked to be moving in to score, so those were game-changing plays.  My issue with Watts lies with his tackling which is, technically, a car crash.  He misses far too many one-on-one tackles for a number of different reasons: he goes either too high or too low; he doesn’t wrap up; he prioritises the big hit with only limited success; he sometimes tries to spin round and drag down tacklers, rather than making a proper tackle.  Some people may see this as a coachable thing but, to me, it’s a major red flag if my last line of defence is so shaky in such a crucial part of the game.  I suspect the NFL will be more prepared to overlook this than I would be so he will probably go higher than the late 4th round grade I have on him.

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