Meet the Raiders 2nd Round Pick Menelik Watson

The Raiders choose Menelick Watson in the second round

The Raiders choose Menelick Watson in the second round

Overview

Watson grew up in Manchester, England, and comes from a tough background. As an avid sports fan, Watson saw athletics as a way out of poverty, and a way to stay out of the streets. He played soccer most his early life, but moved on to basketball when he realized that he did not have a future in soccer. In 2007, he joined Orellana in Spain and was named a team captain of a traveling basketball team. After two years and a tour of the United States, Watson earned a basketball scholarship from Marist. Once Watson realized that wasn’t going to work, he took up boxing. But this didn’t last long, as Watson fell in love with Florida State and the game of football after a trip to see the Seminoles play.

However, before Watson was able to attract the interest of the Seminoles, he had to first play at Saddleback Junior College, where he was teammates with fellow NFL draft hopeful Kyle Long. After fall camps, Watson won the Seminoles’ right tackle job, and started every game. He declared early in order to help support his family. He was an All-ACC honorable mention.

Analysis

Strengths

Physical specimen. Great size, and tremendously athletic. Explosive first step. Good foot quickness. Showcases mobility and range as a blocker. Able to get to the second level and make cut off blocks. Flexible, bends well. Powerful punch.

Weaknesses

Still raw, limited football experience. Older than ideal. Hand placement is poor. Often hits outside of the frame, and will have a tendency to get overly grabby. Will result in more penalties in the NFL. Needs to play with a wider base. Inconsistent with his footwork.

NFL Comparison

Jared Gaither

Bottom Line

Watson has rare athletic ability on a tremendous frame. He has an explosive first step, light feet, and a powerful punch. There are a lot of things in his game that need to be cleaned up from a technique standpoint, and he will be 25 years old in his rookie season. He can project to either tackle spot, or possibly even inside, at guard.

Above information from NFL Network

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