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Draft INSIGHT: WR Christian Watson

Round 2: Another young receiver is needed

2022 NCAA Division I Football Championship Photo by C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns had on paper last year the best receiver group in the league. That obviously fell apart as Odell Beckham, Jr. was cut, Jarvis Landry had another sub-par season, rookie Anthony Schwartz failed to live up to expectations, and Rashard Higgins was rarely utilized.

Watson is from a small school so the competition-level demons will rise up and question his production. Was a four-time National Champion and is tall with long arms and speed to burn. Was one of the highlighted players in this year’s Senior Bowl. He is currently ranked #38 as the Browns draft in the second round with pick #44.

Reports have Cleveland bringing Watson in for a visit on Friday April 8, so their interest is real on this tall, speedy receiver and just may be their pick in the second round.

Specifics:

College: North Dakota State

Height: 6’-5”

Weight: 211 pounds

40-time: 4.36

Career Receiving Yards: 2,134

Career Touchdowns: 14

Career Receptions: 104

Career Fumbles: 0

Career starts: 27

Positives:

  • Top level athletic ability
  • Height a Red Zone plus
  • Fantastic 50-50 ball catcher
  • Fluid at running jet sweeps
  • Long arms with a great stiff arm maneuver
  • Very good hands
  • First Team All-MVFC 2020 and 2021
  • FCS National Champion 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021
  • Great leaping abilities
  • Plays fast and confident
  • Covers a lot of ground after the catch
  • Solid body control

Negatives:

  • Needs to use his hands more on deep throws instead of his chest
  • Small but successful school
  • Played against lesser competition
  • 16 career drops are a concern
  • Needs better change of direction skills
  • Downfield blocking needs work
  • Route tree will need to be increased

Expert Draft Site Analysis

NFL.com

A receiver prospect with intriguing measurables and a strong belief in the team aspect of the game, Watson possesses an alluring combination of size and speed. He showed off improved route running and catch strength in 2021. He is much more gifted than his opposition was at NDSU and needs to prove he can elevate his game against bigger, faster players at the next level. He plays hard and fast but needs to add a few more pounds and learn to impose his frame on the coverage. He’s a field-stretching option requiring a linear route tree and projects as a capable WR3/4 with more work.