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
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:
Carlos Watkins hasn't scratched his potential yet. His ceiling is immense. Could see him becoming a stud soon.— Justen Gammel (@gamscout) April 6, 2017
Eddie Jackson in Chicago. Takk McKinley in Pittsburgh. Carlos Watkins in DC.— Jared Stanger (@JaredStanger) April 5, 2017
One of only four FBS D-linemen with at least 40 combined pressures & 35 defensive stops in 2016.— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) March 29, 2017
Carlos Watkins https://t.co/pSF6MkCGLq
Noteworthy: Both Carlos Watkins and Vincent Taylor have strong athletic scoring similarity to Kawaan Short.— Jared Stanger (@JaredStanger) March 23, 2017
They are trying to break Carlos Watkins in position drills.. testing his questionable motor— Mike Margittai NFL (@DraftMaverick) March 16, 2017
Clemson DT Carlos Watkins, oh no, not sure if he's a nose or a 3. Doesn't have that jolt you want at DT. 6th Rd grade, and that's generous.— Kevin Turner (@ktfuntweets) February 23, 2017
not a big carlos watkins guy, but this is really impressive. own the backside A gap on the zone runs pic.twitter.com/tL5LSyE32e— charles mcdonald (@FourVerts) February 8, 2017
DL Carlos Watkins (Clemson, 6'3", 312lbs). Coaches liked to use him in stunts - not a strength. Straight line speed is good, lateral is not. pic.twitter.com/RW914ygyOw— My Colts Account (@MyColtsAccount) January 27, 2017
DL Carlos Watkins (Clemson, 6'3", 312lbs). Concerns me how much teams are willing to run at him. Confident in being able to move him. pic.twitter.com/aHjJwqpflA— My Colts Account (@MyColtsAccount) January 27, 2017
DL Carlos Watkins (Clemson, 6'3", 312lbs). Game is purely based on strength, which is okay because he's insanely strong. 10.5 sacks in '16. pic.twitter.com/Or6fnXDNm4— My Colts Account (@MyColtsAccount) January 27, 2017
Ok have finished combing Carlos Watkins video and am ready to post some of the gifs. Right off the bat Watkins over Center is a problem pic.twitter.com/XidZN0OIBy— Redruckus81 (@Redruckus81) January 23, 2017
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.