Typically, when I start these articles, I explain why the Green Bay Packers would be interested in targeting the specific position in the draft. However, when it comes to the wide receiver, there’s no need to delve into that – we all know it’s a must.
What I will say is that besides just adding the necessary depth to the position, in particular, the Packers need a prime option on the border, more YAC, as well as a vertical threat – which, from day one, is what NDSU’s Christian Watson could provide.
According to Tony Paulin of Pro Football Network, Watson visited a number of teams, including the Green Bay Packers.
Watson’s draft stock has skyrocketed since the Senior Bowl, where he’s been a standout performer all week. Watson’s draft stock also received another boost at the combine, where he stood 6’4″ – 208 pounds and clocked 9.96 on the RAS scale, including a dash of 4.36 seconds of 40 yards as well as elite metrics in vertical and wide jumps, showcasing his explosiveness.
In the NDSU heavy offense, Watson was a big play just waiting to happen at receiver. He was targeted 145 times during his four-year playing career, completing 84 of those attempts while averaging a ridiculous 21.3 yards per catch, according to PFF ($$).
If at the FBS level, Watson’s 4.28 yards per throw in 2021 would have been second among all receivers. He also averaged 8.2 YAC per catch, which would have ranked him 26th. Last season was his most productive as he totaled 740 yards on 39 receptions with seven touchdowns.
As I mentioned before, having a true vertical threat in this Green Bay Packers offense is a must. In addition to big play ability, this element creates better overall spacing in the passing game and helps create for other pass catchers as well as safeties protecting against down play.
While that may be Watson’s quickest path to contributing on offense early in his NFL career, he can offer the Green Bay Packers so much more, whether as a gimmick player with that speed, a big target and big catching radius in the middle and red zone, in addition to being a kick returner, where he averaged 26.4 yards per return on his 26 career attempts. He’s also a willing blocker, which we know is a big part of this Packers offense.
Now, for more on Watson, Drae Harris of The Draft Network had this to say:
“In the passing game, he is extremely difficult to cover. He can defeat the press with quick footing and has surprisingly good vertical speed. His home run speed quickly threatens a defender’s cushion. It does a good job of dropping its weight while displaying separation speed up the road. It has a very good catch radius and is a match problem in contested catch situations. He can contort his body to make difficult catches and is dynamic with the ball in his hands.
Form-wise, Watson seems like a very Green Bay Packers-type selection. He’s a big-body receiver who tested incredibly well, and in Matt LaFleur’s offense he would be a real weapon with his speed and LaFleur’s ability to get his pass catchers into space. Watson also adds an element to the receiving room — his ability to win on the court with his speed — that Green Bay just doesn’t have right now.
Recent drafts of Todd McShay, Mel Kiper and Lance Zierlein, all of Watson being selected in the first round, although it should be noted that Watson, who will turn 23 before the start of the NFL season, is a bit older, and The Packers have selected only one first-round prospect since 2015 who was over 21 years old. It happened last year when Green Bay picked Eric Stokes.