In order to familiarize fans with some of the top names in the 2013 NFL Draft, Chargers.com will be highlighting a different prospect each weekday leading up to the first day of the draft on April 25th.
We continue the series with a scouting report of Florida State offensive tackle Menelik Watson.
Name: Menelik Watson
School: Florida State
Weight: 310 LBS
Position: Offensive Tackle
There’s no denying that offensive tackle Menelik Watson is among the rawest and most inexperienced prospects eligible to be drafted this year.
That being said, he’s also among the most physically gifted players not only at his position but in the entire draft with an incredibly high upside.
When discussing Watson, you have to start at the beginning as his path to the NFL has been a unique one. Born in Manchester England, he played soccer and basketball as a youth before concentrating on the hardwood. He played at a prep school in Spain before accepting a scholarship to attend Marist. However, Watson quickly determined he was too small to make it to the NBA so he switched sports, first to boxing before finding his niche as a football player.
With a tireless work ethic and exceptional athletic ability, Watson is able to keep up with even the speediest defenders. Primarily a right tackle, scouts note that he is best fitted for a zone blocking scheme where he is able to utilize his physical gifts. He has great size at 6-foot-5, 310-pounds and has a quick, explosive first step that allows him to get a leg up on opponents.
Much was expected out of Watson at February’s Scouting Combine, and unfortunately he failed to meet expectations as some believe the bar may have been set too high for him. For instance, he ran only a 5.29 40-yard dash which was among the worst for offensive linemen. Another concern is that he’s only played the game for two seasons even though he will be 25 when his rookie year begins, so his lack of experience in conjunction with his age is a drawback despite his impressive performances on the field.
Nonetheless, Watson should be a useful NFL player based on his natural abilities alone. As he gains experience and bulks up to improve his strength, he could end up being a steal when the 2013 draft is reflected upon in future years.
40-yard Dash: 5.29
Vertical Jump: 24.5 inches
Broad Jump: 103.0 inches
3-Cone Drill: 8.31
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed above do not represent the opinions or policies of the San Diego Chargers’ front office staff, coaches or executives.