NFL Draft Sleeper: Menelik Watson

The NFL Combine is coming up this weekend and with that, everyone is throwing out names of players who might excite scouts. One guy the Chargers could seriously take a look at is an offensive tackle from Florida State, Menelik Watson.

September 29, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Rashad Greene (80) is congratulated by offensive linesman Menelik Watson (71) after they scored a touchdown against the South Florida Bulls during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Watson, originally from Manchester, England, is a largely talented offensive tackle. Before college, basketball was his thing. When people think basketball players turned football players, tight ends usually come to mind. But look on down the line and you’ll find Watson sitting at the tackle spot. He was looked at by top schools like Oklahoma and Oregon but eventually signed with Florida State after playing at Saddleback Junior College in California. He only played one season at Florida State before he left for the draft, despite FSU coaches trying to get him to stay.

His strengths lie in his brute athleticism. Watson is solid all around. He has quick feet and long arms, two things a tackle needs to succeed. He can drop back in to pass protection and keep defenders away or he can run down field and block in the rushing game. The only bad thing he has going for him is the fact that he’s going to be a work in progress. This might make his draft stock fall.

What’s that mean for the Chargers? It means they could draft a guy like Dee Milliner in the first round to help out their struggling secondary. Watson will likely fall to the second round and the Chargers could likely pick him up there. The only thing is, it’s a risk to wait to draft a tackle. Offensive line is one of the biggest needs that the Chargers need to fill.

Can they afford to wait around until the second round to see if Watson is still there?

You can follow Matt on Twitter @Welch1048.

Topics: Florida State, Football, Menelik Watson, San Diego Chargers

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