Photo of Earl Watford
Drafted By: Cardinals

Combine Results

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

Draft Analysis:

"We said it at the East-West Game, what he brings is a solid player who is a really good interior player." -- Mike Mayock

  • 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.
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Grade Title Draft (Round) Description
96-100 Future Hall of Famer Top Pick A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
85-95 Immediate Starter 1st An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
70-84 Eventual Starter 2nd-3rd A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
50-69 Draftable Player 4th-7th A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
20-49 Free Agent UDFA A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.

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