Prospect: Menelik Watson, OT, Florida StateMenelik Watson

Height: 6’5⅛”

Weight: 310 lb.

Athleticism:

  • Multi-sport athlete with soccer, basketball, and boxing experience
  • Strong in both upper and lower bodies with a well-built frame
  • Adequate speed to get downfield and make blocks at the second level
  • Plays with a wide base which aids balance but limits quickness of is kickslide
  • Heavy feet with a lack of lateral quickness or change of direction ability, lacks burst off the snap as well
  • Lower half struggles to keep up with his upper half athletically

Intelligence/Effort:

  • Very inexperienced with only two years under his belt, one of which came at the junior college level
  • Occasionally has responsibility lapses or lapses in gap discipline, still learning the game
  • Lacks anticipation for the moving parts of a defense and is an overly reactive player as a result
  • High effort player who blocks to the whistle with sufficient consistency

Pass Blocking:

  • Consistent anchor against the power rush with a strong lower half and a wide base
  • Adequate length to extend his arms and negate contact to his body from rushers
  • Laborsome kickslide that doesn’t cover ground quickly and involves heavy motion of his arms
  • Will overextend against speed rushers and leave himself vulnerable to up and under moves
  • Prone to giving up the corner after being engaged first, feet stop while engaged and struggles to redirect to quick movement of rushers
  • Delayed reactions to stunts and blitzes when forced to redirect to oncoming defenders

Run Blocking:

  • Can drop his pads and drive block to create movement up front
  • Natural feel for combo blocking and a handful for most linebackers at the second level
  • Struggles to cross the face of defenders when asked to work laterally in zone concepts
  • Often gives a strong initial pop as a downfield blocker instead of driving legs through contact and sustaining
  • Defenders allowed to slide off his blocks too easily, finishes blocks very infrequently
  • Plagued by indecisiveness as a space blocker

Technique:

  • Utilizes a strong upper body to jolt defenders a powerful first punch
  • Struggles to sustain blocks even when he gains the upper hand on initial contact, due to lack of foot quickness and control ability with his hands
  • Inconsistent hand placement, often too narrow allowing for defenders to disengage easily
  • Plays with proper knee bend and flexible hips to keep his pads down

Overall:

Menelik Watson is without a doubt one of the draft’s most intriguing prospects, for good reason.  He grew up in a rough situation in Manchester, England before moving to Spain to join a prep basketball team.  Soon enough, he was playing college basketball in the United States at Marist.  After taking in his first college football game with a friend, a Florida State game, he decided it was what he wanted to do.  Watson played for a season at Saddleback College before transferring to Florida State and winning the right tackle spot.  His journey from a guy who had no knowledge or experience of the game of football to an NFL draft prospect in only two years’ time is quite remarkable and a testament to the way he has absorbed information.

Watson was highly regarded as a phenomenal athlete for most of his junior season, considering his pasts in basketball and soccer.  In reality, he didn’t show the athletic ability on the field and then put in a very disappointing performance at the combine.  That shouldn’t completely diminish him as a prospect, but the numbers were far from favorable.  He finished last among offensive linemen in the 3 cone drill and in the bottom third in the short shuttle.  His slow feet are a concern.  Another concern is the general inconsistency that plagues him.  Some of that is to be expected of a player who is still learning the game the way he is though.  Menelik Watson is quite simply a very raw offensive tackle and would be a risk to put in the starting lineup as a rookie.  The upside is high, but the floor is low.  All things being considered, he looks the part of a third round pick and nothing more.

Originally published at DetroitLionsDraft.com: Menelik Watson Scouting Report