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Gabe Watson


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I think we should tade up into the fourth round tomrorrow and get Gabe Watson from Michigan. I think he's a steal at this point, and that DT is one of our positions of need.

I recently drew up the depth chart, and I think we need to get another OL, DL, CB and S. Watson would be a great addition to the DL rotation.

Gabe Watson, DT | (6'31_2.gif", 339, 5.28) | MICHIGAN

scouts grade: 87

Strengths: He is a massive two-gap NT/DT prospect that can be absolutely dominant in spurts. Plays with good leverage when fresh and has proven capable of gobbling up two blockers in those instances. He clogs gaps and seals off the inside run, forcing RB's to bounce a lot of runs to the outside. He protects his LB's well and allows them to roam. He shows the lower body strength and overall mass to overpower offensive linemen at the POA. He will show some surprising quickness when he is fresh. Also, while he doesn't have great speed or athleticism as a pass rusher, he does collapse the pocket when fresh. He is a one-dimensional pass rusher but he shows the initial burst, power and size and drive the OC back into his QB. He has been extremely durable and he is a high-character person with no off-the-field baggage.

Weaknesses: Production is entirely too inconsistent. Lacks conditioning and stamina. Has a tendency to wear down quickly. When that's the case, he comes out of his stance too high, loses his leverage and becomes much less effective. His weight will need to be consistently monitored in the NFL and he will need coaches to stay on him regarding his conditioning. He seems to lack ideal natural instincts at times. Not a great pass rusher. Does not show the burst through the LOS or the closing speed to make a huge impact in that facet at the NFL level. May never be more than a two-down player.

Overall: Watson appeared in eight games as a reserve DT during his true freshman season in 2002 and he appeared in all 13 games as a backup DT during his sophomore season in 2003. As a junior in 2004, Watson took over as a fulltime starter at NT in the team's new 3-4 alignment and he finished with 37 total tackles, seven TFL and two sacks. He was named All-Big Ten first team by the coaches and All-Big Ten second team by the media in 2004. Watson played in all 12 games and started eight as a senior in 2005 and finished with 40 tackles, 6.5 TFL and two sacks. Watson is a massive DT/NT prospect with an outstanding combination of size, strength, quickness and athletic ability. He is a durable player and a high-character person. However, his inconsistent production and lack of stamina became maddening for Michigan coaches and led to Watson's benching for four games during his senior season. Watson seems to give a good effort when fresh and he can be absolutely dominant during those spurts. However, he tires easily and winds up taking entirely too many plays off throughout the course of a game. Because of the increased demand for a 3-4 nose tackle in the NFL combined with the insufficient supply that typically comes out of the college draft, a team could reach for Watson as early as the first round.

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I think Watson would be a great pick, and I was really hoping the skins would have dealt that #2 next year to get a 3rd rounder this year. I think both Watson and Max Jean-Gillies from Georgia would both be good picks, but at this point I don't really think the team has much left to trade. Hopefully we can still grab a sleeper in the 5th, and maybe get a punter, kicker, or both in the late rounds.

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