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Carlos Watkins, DL: Is He The Nose Tackle Tomsula Is Looking For?

Hogs Haven takes a look at 2017 Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Ohio State vs Clemson Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Watkins, DL
School: Clemson | Conference: ACC
College Experience: RS Senior | Age: 23
Height / Weight: 6-3 / 309 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 3rd Round
NFL Comparison: Corey Peters

College Statistics

Player Overview

It’s really hard for me to pinpoint exactly what Carlos Watkins does well. There are plays where he looks slow and stagnant and then there are plays where he gains mysterious explosion and takes advantage of his inside leverage. The answer may be that Watkins isn’t great at any one skill in particular yet. What I do know is that despite a few lapses in play this year he was still extremely effective. Watkins doesn't wow with pass rush moves or speed but he is very strong and he has the ability to seal gaps as well as collapse the pocket. Watkins played both the 1-technique and the 3-technique while at Clemson. I like him so much more as a 1-tech. If Watkins can win with his initial explosion and strength and take advantage of the offensive lineman’s inside shoulder watch out he’s coming for you. What makes him a bit concerning is that he needs to win early and with consistency to be a factor in both the pass rush and the run game. Watkins can definitely be a key piece of a DL rotation early in his career. He’ll have to work on his consistency, pass rush moves, and shed ability to gain a starting role.


  • Good size for the position even though he has some excess around his belly. Played both the 1-tech and 3-tech at Clemson and though I like him as an interior DL more he could probably play the 5-tech as well.
  • Super strong player. His power and leverage flash on tape. He can disrupt the run in the backfield as well as collapse the pocket.
  • Flashes superb closing speed and burst as in interior rusher if he can bust the gaps.
  • Has good vision and awareness when looking into the backfield. Can help move the line to cut off rushing lanes and prevent cutbacks as well get his hands up to deflect passes.


  • Doesn’t do any one thing particularly well. That is serviceable though only if he becomes a much more consistent player.
  • Is a non-factor when met with a double team and needs to learn to consistently disengage.
  • Flashes quick burst when presented with a clear rushing lane but I would not expect him to go all out pursuing the ball from the backside of the play. Lacks that long speed and conditioning which is rare in DL but is a trait that takes play to another level.
  • Questions about his conditioning. The quality of play takes a dive when he’s tired.

Let’s see his work:

How He Would Fit On The Redskins

If it were up to me I would strongly consider Carlos Watkins in the 3rd round. If the Redskins select him he may not make a large impact as a rookie off the bat but I can definitely see him getting better and better as the year goes on. Most of his shortcomings are coachable and I would love to see Coach Tomsula teach this kid how to stack and shed double teams and explode out of his stance with consistency. Jay Gruden said that Tomsula told him that he would find an NT for the Redskins. Carlos Watkins could check that box and use his skill as a rusher and vision and instincts as a run defender to stay on the field all three downs. Watkins will have to commit to improving his conditioning to do that. Watkins may not have a particularly special skill as a DL but he often finds himself in the right place at the right time to make a play and has instincts for the position that can be built upon. I’d drop him right in the middle of the defense playing the 0 or 1-tech and let him split reps with McGee or whoever it may be.