INDIANAPOLIS — North Dakota State wide receiver Christian Watson's rising buzz since his Senior Bowl week is noticeable by fans of the NFL draft. He exhibited his ability to play at the next level, standing out in one on ones and team periods.
That performance is creating the thought that the speedy receiver could sneak into the first round when heading into the Combine.
Watching Watson on tape, the average fan wondered how he landed at North Dakota State. After not receiving many offers early, he grew from 5-foot-9 to 6-foot-1 during his junior year of high school.
"I'd assumed I was a late Bloomer in high school," Watson said. "I didn't really shoot up until my junior year of high school. I went from 5'9 142 to a 6'1 160 in a matter of months, so I was a late bloomer and didn't get that interest from any power five schools."
North Dakota State was the first school to reach out to Watson and offer him a scholarship The Tampa Bay, Florida, native traveled a long way from home into inclement weather to join the Bison.
Watson was one of the best wide receivers in the FCS during his time in Fargo. He accumulated 2,140 yards receiving during his four years while averaging 20.4 yards per catch. The Bison did whatever they could to get the ball in his hands as he rushed for 392 yards.
February 23, 2022
As a return man, Watson made two house calls on kick returns, adding an element to his game that makes him more intriguing.
One of his best qualities is toughness which you can see in his blocking. NDSU runs the football around 75% of the time, and the Senior Bowl stand-out takes pride in helping his team win.
"We run the football a lot, and that's what helps us win games," Watson said. "As a wide receiver, it is something you have to embrace really early, and that is something I learned to enjoy really early. So whether I'm catching ten balls a game or if I'm getting ten good blocks a game, it was, all the same, to me in the end. Whatever I could do to help my team win, and blocking was a big part of that."
It will be a massive day for Watson's draft stock during drills on Thursday. He is interview-ready with a focus to become great at the next level.
Other Combine news and notes:
Las Vegas Raiders media believes Chris Olave has a connection to the Raiders. He was the hot wide receiver of choice and even mentioned his wish to join the Raiders.
Ohio State WR @chrisolave_ says he would love to play for the @Raiders. Adds that he looked up to @DeSeanJackson10 growing up and has modeled his game after Jackson's. #Raiders #RaiderNation pic.twitter.com/o8s7TbkfXq— Cassie Soto (@_CassieSoto) March 2, 2022
Drake London dealt with a few awful questions, but I asked him about his basketball career, helping him with flexibility as a bigger receiver.
I asked Drake London if his basketball ability helps him with flexibility as a taller receiver. pic.twitter.com/XKjbwyLoiX— Marcus Johnson (@TheMarcJohnNFL) March 2, 2022
Jalen Tolbert described his ability to catch in traffic and why he is one of the best in the class.
"Ball skills and body control ... I take pride in that,” the South Alabama receiver said. “If the ball is in the air, I want to be the only person to get it. I'm very competitive, so if I see a ball in the air, I am going to go up and get it before anyone else can."
Malik Willis received a question about doubters and opinions on his game.
"Somebody is always going think you trash. It is what it is; I will just keep on going. I'm not playing for their approval,” the Liberty quarterback responded.