Agility: Watkins possesses average to good agility. If he was better here, a positional move probably wouldn’t be required. Shows good effort to move around, which somewhat masks his lacking agility.
Movement: Baylor didn’t really use Watkins a lot on the move. As a guard prospect, Watkins might work best in a power scheme because he might not have the foot speed to pull and trap. When Watkins does work on the move, he’s really good when he engages defenders. Watkins targets players well and really likes to dominate his opponent.
Pass blocking: Watkins started at left tackle for Baylor for two seasons (25 starts in total). He played pretty well there because of his strength as a pass blocker. Watkins works a good kick slide and maintains good balance after his first move. Was asked to cut block some and did well enough. For a somewhat inexperienced player, Watkins’ footwork is sound enough to mirror speed rushers to the outside. Struggled some when a pass rusher worked to the inside. For someone expected to move inside to guard, that may be troubling.
Quickness: Most consider Watkins a much better guard prospect because he’s not as classically quick as you want in a tackle. He works his hands with plenty of speed and fluidity, but Watkins has a tendency to sometimes get heavy footed when he’s stationary.
Run blocking: When Watkins kicked inside to guard at the Senior Bowl, he really showed his potential as an NFL player. He was nearly immovable in run blocking situations and really looked the part. Watkins plays with a lot of toughness in the run game and is a powerful player. When engaged on a defender, they have a hard time shedding Watkins.
Strength: Although it may be a product of his advanced age (26), Watkins has the power to play in the NFL as a rookie. When he sets his feet to hold his spot in the run game, Watkins is hard to push around. He’s strong throughout his frame, and it shows in his playing style.
Technique: If Watkins does move to guard, as expected, he’ll have to learn how to play more frequently out of a three-point stance. He didn’t always fire out of a three-point and will need to quicken up his movement. Watkins has shown he has fine footwork, so this shouldn’t be an issue. Is about as technically perfect in his upper body and arms as you can be.
Final word: Even though Watkins only played two seasons of top-level college football, he’s the kind of player an NFL team can draft and confidently play as a rookie. A college left tackle, Watkins projects to either guard spot in the NFL. He’s a powerful and aggressive blocker who should endear himself to his offensive line coach. He’s known as a mature, hard worker so it would be a shock if Watkins busted in the pros.
Already 26, Watkins spent some time as a firefighter. He played at Baylor for his final two years of college and did well starting 25 games in the team’s wide open spread attack. Watkins may not be the most fleet of foot blocker, but he’s physical and mean.