Photo of Earl Watford
Grade
68.1 ?
  • 5.06 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 24 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 30.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 107.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.77 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 5.00 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 6'3" Height
  • 34" Arm Length
  • 300LBS. Weight
  • 10" Hands

Overview

An all-city defensive lineman as a senior at Philadelphia’s Simon Gratz High School, Watford also gained recognition by being named to the Philadelphia News’ public all-decade second team. Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain and current University Florida junior defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd were among those included on the first team, while Atlanta Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes received third team honors. That’s some pretty good company for Watford to share, and is an indication of his NFL potential.



Watford was recruited as an offensive tackle, however, because of his agility and growing frame. He showed versatility as a redshirt freshman, playing in 11 games with one start at left guard and another at left tackle. He started the next 23 games at left guard for the Dukes, helping JMU finish in the top 12 in the FCS in rushing. In 2011, Colonial Athletic Association coaches voted him first-team all-conference. In his senior season, he started in 11 games, and only allowed one sack. For the second year in a row, he was a first-team all-conference selection.

Analysis

Strengths

Athletically built interior player. Solid anchor in pass protection, plays with a wide base and has the feet to mirror his opponent. Packs a strong punch to knock back his man, but also takes a strong punch and holds his ground. Comes out of his stance quickly in the run game, uses strong hands and powerful extension to move opponents out of the hole and churns his feet to pancake defensive linemen when crashing down the line. Effective zone blocker because of his mobility and strength. Agile enough to move his feet to get the backside angle while engaged. Mobile behind the line of scrimmage, and displays the straight-line speed to reach targets and fits onto blocks near the line and at the second level. Will hit multiple targets in the open field. Solid in his cut blocks, makes it hard for tackles to recover. Solid anchor on special teams units. Plays with a nasty streak; brings any fight back to his opponent, and then some. Also hustles downfield to help running backs get an extra yard and is willing to clean up piles.

Weaknesses

Plays most games against a lower level of competition. Must continue to build strength in his base in order to consistently anchor against NFL defenders. Plays a bit tall, needs to sit down in his stance consistently and keep his natural bend to maintain leverage. Also needs to prove to scouts his agility is sufficient to adjust to quicker pro defenders in space.

NFL Comparison

Jacob Bell

Bottom Line

One of the top players in recent Philadelphia high school football history has become one of the best guards in the Football Championship Subdivision. Watford’s quick feet, agility, and willingness to punish opponents will carry weight with scouts and coaches while his somewhat lean frame continues to fill out. He could join fellow 2011 first-team All-CAA lineman Gino Gradkowski from Delaware, who was picked early in the fourth round (98th overall) by Baltimore last April, as a mid-round pick.
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.
NFL News
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