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Old 01-09-2013, 12:44 AM    (permalink
TACKLE
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Default Menelik Watson - OT - FSU

RT #71 for Florida State - 6'6 320 4.7 (according to rivals.com and his bio on FSU's site)
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I don't feel like going into too much detail but here's his life story here.

http://espn.go.com/colleges/fsu/foot...tate-seminoles

tl;dr - from a rough area in the UK, went to Spain as a teenager to play basketball, got a scholarship to play basketball at a small school in the states, did boxing for a bit then went to JUCO for a year. Ended up starting at RT for Florida State this year and played very well. He declared for the draft after one season.


I knew a little bit about him before and had watched him a bit but I actually just took him in the forum mock and started watching a bunch of him after that. Wow. Such a talented athlete. Just a physical specimen. Moves exceptionally well for a guy his size. As an athlete, he reminds me A TON of Jason Peters. Not mechanical or robotic, just a very fluid athlete who is a natural bender. He's very strong and plays with a lot of physicality. His explosiveness off the ball and power pop out at you when you watch him play. Strong punch. Given that he's only played 21 football games in his life, you can see he needs technical refinement, especially with his hands. His hand placement is little over the place. They get outside more than they should and he can get a little grabby.

He plays RT for FSU (he actually started playing RT because Kyle Long was the LT at his JUCO) but he has the movement skills to play on a left side. Though I don't believe the transition to college RT to NFL LT is nearly as big of a deal as some make it out to be nor do I believe the difference in value between the RT position and LT is all that great. Whatever side he does play on, it's best that he stays at that spot for a bit so he can get comfortable with that footwork on that side.

He needs some technical work for sure but this isn't Bruce Campbell were dealing with where the performance doesn't match up with the tools. Watson can play. From the games I've watched, his play itself are more impressive than some other OT's in this draft who's name is in the first round combo and his tools are second to none in this class. His stock should skyrocket in the offseason at the combine and his workouts.

When it's all said and done, I actually expect him to be a first round pick - he's too talented not to be.


Check him out




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Old 01-09-2013, 12:56 AM    (permalink
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Yeah, Kids a freak. Comes from a poor family, so leaving early to try to support his kid and wife, as well as his family IIRC. But he's definitely up there with the most athletic OT's you can get. Still a mid round, project OT, but he's reportedly an incredibly hard worker, and as you said incredibly FLUID (a very key word as you said) athlete, and again, as you said, what is incredibly good and rare for such a big guy is that he's a natural knee bender (biggest flaw Lewan has in my book).
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:00 AM    (permalink
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Yeah, Kids a freak. Comes from a poor family, so leaving early to try to support his kid and wife, as well as his family IIRC. But he's definitely up there with the most athletic OT's you can get. Still a mid round, project OT, but he's reportedly an incredibly hard worker, and as you said incredibly FLUID (a very key word as you said) athlete, and again, as you said, what is incredibly good and rare for such a big guy is that he's a natural knee bender (biggest flaw Lewan has in my book).
Yup. I understand the reluctance to project him as early as I think he'll go. I know I personally will more than likely have a first round grade on him but I get that there's still a some unknowns as far as how big of a project teams will see him as. Regardless, when you're talking about a player with as much natural talent as Watson, I have faith that the cream will eventually rise to the top.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:13 AM    (permalink
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Yup. I understand the reluctance to project him as early as I think he'll go. I know I personally will more than likely have a first round grade on him but I get that there's still a some unknowns as far as how big of a project teams will see him as. Regardless, when you're talking about a player with as much natural talent as Watson, I have faith that the cream will eventually rise to the top.
Agreed, i heard somewhere he got a 2nd/3rd round grade from the advisory board, not sure where i heard that, but its possible. Him and Kyle Long are both very interesting cases...Not sure where he should really go, he looks so impressive on some plays and then he absolutely looks like a fool and lets a guy run right by him. He's got a lot to learn, probably more realistic to expect him in the 4th round range.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:38 AM    (permalink
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Agreed, i heard somewhere he got a 2nd/3rd round grade from the advisory board, not sure where i heard that, but its possible. Him and Kyle Long are both very interesting cases...Not sure where he should really go, he looks so impressive on some plays and then he absolutely looks like a fool and lets a guy run right by him. He's got a lot to learn, probably more realistic to expect him in the 4th round range.
I didn't know about the 2nd/3rd round advisory board grade. By all accounts they are usually very conservative with their projections. I dunno, I wouldn't expect him to go later than that projection and if anything earlier. If that's where his stock is roughly sitting right now, his arrow should be pointing much of the pre-draft process. Yes he does have some inconsistencies that will need to be cleaned up and he is a bit older than you'd like. At the same time, he's just the type of player who should see his stock really ascend when he lights up the combine and when coaches can see how impressive of an athlete he is up close on the field during workouts. Also doesn't hurt that OT's almost always get pushed up because of positional value in the draft.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:40 AM    (permalink
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Amazing story and the guy is huge with a lot of upside.

However, no matter how good the workouts are it's going to be difficult to overcome some of the bad film that is out there. Just ask Bruce Campbell. Just watch the Seminoles bowl game and you'll see what I mean. Plus Watson is probably a right tackle only. I think middle rounds as a developmental guy may be a best-case scenario for Watson at this point, especially when you consider how many other good offensive tackles there are in this class.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:48 AM    (permalink
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I think if you put him at guard he has the potential to be a Carl Nicks type player. He is raw but you would be hard pressed to find many linemen in the NFL with his raw abilities. Bruce Campbell is a freak, yes, but he wasn't just lacking technique. He never really had a mean streak or showed signs of it. Watson hasn't put it all together, but people who have been around the game are sure that he will become a monster. He didn't know what football was until a few years ago. There is a story that mentions Tank Carradine cringing when talking about getting hit by Watson. He might not go in the first but if he gets in the right situation people will wonder why he wasn't a high pick much like Nicks. I think Watson could play tackle but could be an insane guard. His feet and fluidity scream tackle as already mentioned, but I like him at guard too.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:54 PM    (permalink
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FSU fan...he isn't worthy of a 1st rnd pick..
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:09 PM    (permalink
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I think if you put him at guard he has the potential to be a Carl Nicks type player. He is raw but you would be hard pressed to find many linemen in the NFL with his raw abilities. Bruce Campbell is a freak, yes, but he wasn't just lacking technique. He never really had a mean streak or showed signs of it. Watson hasn't put it all together, but people who have been around the game are sure that he will become a monster. He didn't know what football was until a few years ago. There is a story that mentions Tank Carradine cringing when talking about getting hit by Watson. He might not go in the first but if he gets in the right situation people will wonder why he wasn't a high pick much like Nicks. I think Watson could play tackle but could be an insane guard. His feet and fluidity scream tackle as already mentioned, but I like him at guard too.
Exactly. Bruce Campbell's tape was that of a player who was barely draftable. Although his technique is undeniably raw, Watson's play on the field is still very impressive. Although I've only gone through about 4-5 games of his so far, he is dominant at times and is able to win despite his 'rawness' because he has such naturally good feet and he plays with so much power. Only time I've ever really seen him get beat is when gets a little over aggressive in his set and sets out instead of setting vertically. Like I mentioned previously, his hand placement also needs some work. But those are tangible things that are very correctable.

I'm not opposed to the idea of him playing guard. Not to toot my own horn but I loved Nicks coming out though I did see him as a tackle as well. He did carry around quite a bit more weight than Watson though. I would really try to develop Watson as an OT though even if he could be an awesome guard. Reason being - when a rare athlete who's 6'6 320, who can bend and is very light on his feet comes along, it's worth developing him at the spot where athletes who can play that position (OT) at a high level are more difficult to find (than Guard).
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:58 PM    (permalink
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Bro if he played longer top 10 pick bro

and what the heck is that /\
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:00 PM    (permalink
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A few names of underclassmen OLs that have declared early for the draft over the past 10+ years. Most of the guys I listed all had ridiculous amounts of physical skills and ability, some turned out some did not. But Watson stacks up to having elite physical potential as a offensive lineman. There is a reason he came out early, and if he does indeed drop past round 2, which I really doubt he will be one hell of a pickup.

Damien Woody
Dominic Raiola
Nat Dorsey
Jason Peters
Toniu Fonoti
Winston Justice
Jared Gaither
Branden Albert
Chilo Rachal
Eben Britton
Bruce Campbell
Maurkice Pouncey
Anthony Davis
Tyron Smith


Sure Bruce Campbell's name has been thrown around, but he got drafted on his ridiculous workout numbers, not his play. Watson at times was a beast for Florida State. Sure still was raw but physically dominated defensive players at times with his athletic strength and power and could totally argue he was the best offensive lineman on Florida State. Who have an extremely talented offensive line from top to bottom.


And I would say he played better at FSU than Campbell ever did on Maryland.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:11 AM    (permalink
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This is why he is intriguing:

1)Extremely nimble for his size
2)Has played less than 20 games of football (surface has just been scratched)
3)He has an extremely good body for the position (Long Arms/Wide Hips/Thick through the lower body/minimal body fat & room to grow).
4)His explosiveness out of his stance
5)He ability to smoothly kickslide and gain ground when he is beat without being over extended
6) Ability to consistently stay behind his pads (you won't see him lunging hardly ever, and he is constantly knee bending).


If we were drafting athletes for the positon he'd likely be a top 10 pick, however thats not what all teams do.

He needs to reduce mental mistakes (& bad plays), which should come as he becomes more comfortable playing football.

Overall his range is likely some place between Vlad DuCasse & D'Brickashaw. Depending on how well he responds to coaching at the next level.

But given he has every physical skill needed to project a franchise Tackle he will no doubt be overdrafted.

However, the most important factor for him going forward in the process is to show NFL people that he is "smart" and intellectually capable of being an NFL Olineman. If they believe he is smart enough to not only learn an NFL playbook but also learn the nuances of playing the position he will likely see his stock soar.

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Old 01-17-2013, 08:27 AM    (permalink
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He has the potential to be one of the best OLs FSU has put into the league in a long, long time. I saw Mel Kiper Jr. saying he could go Round 1. It just takes one team to fall in love with a prospect and do something foolish, taking him Round 1 right now is foolish. Anytime after about pick 50 he is a solid addition, especially if you have a veteran RT he can sit behind for a year, maybe 2 while you work on his technique and get him some experience.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:17 AM    (permalink
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looks to be another jason smith, bruce campbell, jared gaither. wont be anything more.
Jared Gaither seems to be a good comp for him, but he's reportedly a hard worker and not a lazy fat ass like Gaither. All three of the guys you listed are EXTREMELY different...you just put 3 random OT busts together and said he looked like them. Watson is really intriguing, but at this point, 2nd or 3rd round pick is his ceiling. There's positions like pass rusher that you spend high picks on incredibly athletic raw talents, but OT is so technical in positional nature, you cant spend 1st rounders on strait upside picks. You usually see these guys go in the 4th round or so, but the backstory and the fact that he's played D1 basketball and he's so young to the game can bump him up a round or 2, but not all the way to the first round.
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:30 PM    (permalink
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I tried to tell y'all. :)

http://www.nfl.com/draft/2013/mock-d...iters_jeremiah
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:31 PM    (permalink
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Stop tooting your own horn in public Tacks. It's gross.
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:36 PM    (permalink
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I don't think Watson goes 1st round, but this year there are a lot of teams looking for OTs in the 1st, so I wouldn't be surprised. Lewan and Matthews staying will push a few guys up the board.

I think he's a solid value in the mid 2nd.
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:42 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Nastradamus View Post
I don't think Watson goes 1st round, but this year there are a lot of teams looking for OTs in the 1st, so I wouldn't be surprised. Lewan and Matthews staying will push a few guys up the board.

I think he's a solid value in the mid 2nd.
He has solid talent and a big frame to work with...but to me solid value for him at this point would be 3rd Rnd. He is not close to starting year 1.
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:49 PM    (permalink
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Love this guy but highest I could go would be 2nd round.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:15 PM    (permalink
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Default Menelik Watson, OT FL ST

This dude looks like a beast of an OT. Great feet, looks the part, and supposedly the kind of guy they have to kick out of the film room. HOWEVER when I am reading these mocks and projections, it seems everyone is assuming the guy will play LT in the NFL. When I watch his tape, he didn't line up at LT. Not one single snap.

Do you guys think people are assuming he has what it takes? Or are people just saying he is a late 1, early 2nd RT?

Before I really dug into his tape, I definitely just assumed he was a LT based on all the things people were saying about him.

Regardless, love this dudes upside.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:42 PM    (permalink
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I want Detroit go get him in the 2nd, but now I think he might be gone much earlier. Maybe 22 to St.Louis. Green Bay and Baltimore would probably look at him in the 1st too.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:42 PM    (permalink
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When he was in the lineup at FSU for his one year the offensive line was much much better. Unfortunately, he got dinged up with minor stuff a lot and our offensive line tanked without him in there. He has all of the goods. Great feet and he is a balanced o-lineman who can pass protect and drive a guy off the ball. If he can play LT he is a first rounder. If he is strictly a RT he might slide into the 2nd round.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:50 PM    (permalink
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A bunch of scouts say he has a first round grade and that there may not be 32 first round grades, so he should be a lock for a high second round pick at worst.
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:52 AM    (permalink
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Without a doubt, he improved our o-line big time this past season. At the same time, you can see he is still pretty raw on technique if you watch enough tape on him.

He has that big frame though that scouts love and good attributes like quick feet so scouts are drooling over him now. He definitely shocked the FSU coaching staff when he declared. No one saw that coming.

I was surprised when people were naming him 1st rnd prospect when he first declared but I guess it is very possible at the moment.
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:02 AM    (permalink
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This guy was hyped up to be this great athlete, and all he did was go to the combine and test at the bottom of virtually every category.

Finished dead last among not only the OT's in the cone with a time of 8.31, but the worst among any offensive lineman there. At the bottom in 10 yard split, cone, short shuttle, vertical, broad, etc.

He was supposed to be a great athlete that was raw with tremendous upside. His numbers suggest just the opposite.
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