Gabe Watson DT 6'4 339 Michigan
By: Robert Davis
Watson was just a backup his first two seasons at Michigan, but took off as a junior. He earned All Big 10 honors after posting 37 tackles, seven for loss, with two sacks on the season. Again earning All Big 10 honors as a senior, Watson had his best season, finishing with 40/6/2.
Gabe Watson is the prototype for a nose tackle. He has a massive frame, and cannot be moved off the ball. His ability to hold his ground and clog running lanes is exactly what people are looking for in the middle of a 3-4 defense. He moves well for his size as well, and can get a push and get into the backfield.
Watson will never be a big playmaker. That's fine in the 3-4, but it hurts how he projects in the 4-3. He doesn't close on the passer or ball carrier well enough to make the big play. He also does not dominate as much as his size and talent says he should. Watson needs to play with more fire on the field and improve his consistency.
If you are looking for a nose tackle, Watson is your man. If Haloti Ngata were not in this draft, Watson would be the top nose tackle available. He will draw a lot of attention because of the number of teams utilizing a variation of a 3-4 defense. He should be able to clog running lanes from the getgo as long as he plays with intensity. Watson carries a late first, early second round grade but could go earlier if a team really needs to stop the run.
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