Justin Watson

Pennsylvania
WR

Prospect Info

College
Pennsylvania
Hometown
Class
- -
Senior
Height
Weight
Arms
6' 3"
225 lbs
- -
Hands
- -

Prospect Grade

5.49
NFL Backup or Special Teams Potential
How We Grade

2018 Draft Results

Drafted by
Tampa Bay
Buccaneers
Round 5 ‧ Pick 7
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This Pennsylvania native has become one of the most productive receivers in FCS history, covering over 1,000 yards receiving in each of the last three seasons. Watson was not offered scholarships by major programs (despite finishing in the top five in state history in receiving yards and touchdowns) until he committed to Penn, and he stuck with the Quakers even after ACC and Big Ten schools came calling. As a freshman, Watson contributed heavily in a reserve role (42 catches, 497 yards, two touchdowns in 10 games). He was a first-team All-Ivy League selection in 2015, finishing as runner-up for the conference's Offensive Player of the Year award (74 catches, 1,082 yards, nine touchdowns receiving; 10 carries, 154 yards, one touchdown rushing). Watson's play started to be noticed on a national level in 2016, as he was named a finalist for the Walter Payton Award as the FCS's top player. He set school records with 89 receptions for 1,115 yards while scoring eight times (23 carries, 133 rushing yards). The Quakers also won the Ivy League title for the second time in three years with Watson on the squad. Not surprisingly, Watson excelled as a senior, again becoming a finalist for the Walter Payton Award, as well as a first-team AP FCS All-American and first-team All-Ivy League selection. He caught 81 passes for 1,083 yards and 14 touchdowns in 10 games.
By Lance Zierlein
NFL Analyst
Draft Projection
Rounds 4-5
NFL Comparison
Chris Hogan
Overview
Big, productive receiver with good football character who has upped his draft slotting with a eye-opening pro day. Watson dominated cornerbacks in the Ivy League, but may not have the suddenness to get off press or the acceleration to uncover against tight man coverage. His size and ball skills are intriguing, but he'll need to prove this his athletic testing can carry-over onto the field. He's a likely day three selection whose size, speed and explosion numbers could give him a bigger push than expected.
Strengths
  • Very good NFL size with muscular, well-proportioned frame
  • Outstanding football character with first-in, last-out mentality
  • Posted three years of heavy production and scored at least one touchdown in each game this year
  • Sinks hips into breaks for sudden stops
  • Ball skills are solid
  • Ball tracking comes easily
  • Finds it early and can bring it in over his shoulder
  • Quick to snatch and tuck
  • Makes late contortions to the ball to bring it in
  • Consistent to secure throws both high and low
  • Has awareness to drop feet near sideline
  • Ran a 4.4 forty and posted a 40" vertical leap to wow teams at his pro day
Weaknesses
  • Despite monster testing numbers, doesn't move with desired suddenness
  • Level of competition at cornerback didn't offer challenging looks
  • Needs stronger upfield push into his routes
  • Has to prove he won't get glued to press off release
  • Needs to prove he can run more of the route tree
  • Room for improvement in setting up route breaks
  • Doesn't run with much elusiveness after the catch

News

Path to the Draft

Final quick-snap 2018 NFL Draft grades for all 32 teams

Best and most worrisome picks from the 2018 NFL Draft

Winners and losers from Round 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft

Winners and losers from Rounds 2, 3 of the 2018 NFL Draft

GRADE
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