Menelik Watson Scouting Report

March 26th, 2013

Athleticism:

Watson has a very high ceiling but a long way to go from the ground floor (Photo courtesy Yahoo)

QB / RB / FB / WR / TE / OT / OG / OC / DT / DE / OLB / ILB / CB / SAF
Prospect: Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State
Height: 6’5⅛”
Weight: 310 lbs
Grade: 6.78 (Grading Scale)

Scouting Report:

+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.—Darren Page

Scouting Notes:

Florida State vs. Florida
• Pulls out around the corner on a toss and throws a good block on Matt Elam
• Gets beat off the snap by Sharrif Floyd and can’t get across and cut him off on the backside, Floyd makes a tackle for loss
• Caves in a defensive tackle on a double before redirecting to a linebacker and stacking him well at the second level
• Mirrors around to corner well to root a pass rusher off his arc and behind the quarterback
• Takes a perfect angle to the second level on a dive gets ball side of a backside linebacker to seal off the hole
• Gets on the hip of a blitzing linebacker and drives him out of the play completely, let the backer get to his inside gap first slow, lack of anticipation
• Miscommunicates with his guard and lets a defensive tackle slide right through his inside gap
• Gets knocked onto his heels by a strong first punch and the rusher slips to his inside on an up and under move
• Sharrif Floyd gets a paw to Watson’s shoulder on a stunt and throws him to the ground, Watson slow to react when the outside rusher looped to the inside and lost his inside gap as a result

Florida State vs. Clemson
• Bit slow to the second level on a combo block, gets the edge sealed with the right guard, gets just enough contact with the linebacker to reroute him
• Whiffs after stepping up to meet Malliciah Goodman early in pass protection, who gets a hand to Watson’s outside shoulder and steps right around him
• Works across the face of the backside end and gets him pinned to the outside on an outside zone
• Gets underneath the pads of Goodman and pancakes him inside the five yard line, strong leg drive
• Spots a corner blitz coming while engaged and redirects to the outside when he gets help from the inside with the defensive end
• Quick to the speed rushes of Goodman after struggling early to mirror around the corner, making in-game adjustments
• Plants a linebacker at the second level on an effective combo block, helps the guard get a defensive tackle turned and redirects to the linebacker and crunches him on initial contact
• Gets across the face of the backside defensive end and keeps him from pinching down the cutback lane on an outside zone
• Gets his hands to the outside shoulder of the contain end and gets him turned on an outside zone his way with the help of the right guard
• Drops his pads and gets underneath the pads of the defensive end, driving him backwards on a lead to his side

Florida State vs. Georgia Tech
• Caves in a defensive end who shoots to the inside from the backside, creates a cutback lane that his back finds
• Pancakes the defensive end who shoots outside on a speed option, gives E.J. Manuel a lane before he makes the pitch
• Doesn’t fire his hands and gets knocked back on initial contact, loses his balance and gives up his inside gap on a draw as a result
• Drops his pads well and gets some movement on a down block at the goal line
• Chops his feet but doesn’t get any depth in his kickslide and gets beat around the corner by Jeremiah Attaouchu for a sack
• Fails to break down after getting to the second level and lets a linebacker sidestep him too easily and make the tackle in the hole
• Lets a pass rusher get too far into his body and the rusher spins off to the inside and past Watson, ends up getting in on the sack
• Leaves the game late in the third quarter

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