The Green Bay Packers went with a receiver from North Dakota State in the second round. Here is insight from the man who covered them, 24/7 Sports’ Ross Uglem
The Green Bay Packers zagged when everyone else thought they were going to zig. Just about every mock draft simulation had them penciled in to take one of the big wide receivers in Thursday’s first round.
Instead, they opted for more help in their front seven.
On Friday, however, they made their bold move. Brian Gutekunst sent two second-round picks to the Vikings for the right to draft Christian Watson.
Watson represents the highest pick they’ve used on a receiver since Javon Walker.
To get a little more insight on these two, I asked a few questions to Ross Uglem, the Georgia beat writer for Bison Report
You can check out the rest of this series throughout the offseason over at Game On Wisconsin.
1.) Watson is the highest pick GB has had at WR since Javon Walker – fair or not that comes with pressure. How has he handled pressure situations in his past.
RU: With North Dakota State football there’s always pressure because even though some view it as lower level competition, the standard is a national championship. You don’t see that everywhere. A title is the only acceptable result. Watson also carried a lot of weight in the offense as a senior. After Darrius Shepherd left the group, he was the man.
He became the primary option in the offense if they weren’t running the ball. (2500 rushing attempts to 1000 passing attempts in his four seasons at NDSU)
They went 52-4 in 4 years averaging 25 point margin of victory.
2.) There are concerns about his competition level and route tree. You saw him at the Senior Bowl – are those concerns valid?
RU: Anytime you’re not doing it against the best of the best it can be concerning, but the Valley had 9 guys drafted. There are a lot of conferences in College Football that didn’t have 9 guys drafted.
As far as the route tree – the concerns are valid, but it’s more that he didn’t do it as opposed to he can’t do it.
They weren’t in a lot of shootouts and more advanced passing concepts didn’t have to exist. A lot of the offense was run-run-run-throw deep to Watson. It worked well. With his route running, it’s more that he didn’t do it, not that he can’t.
3.) He’s a speed threat – people say MVS, what would you say his best skill set is?
RU: It is speed, but that doesn’t make him MVS. That’s a bad competition. He brings KR ability. He brings better RAC skills, and contact balance than MVS. He’s a looser athlete than MVS is in his hips and ankles despite being bigger and stronger.
He is a better blocker than MVS without any question.
4.) He was a KOR at NDSU – can you see him being a KR in Green Bay?
RU: I think he can. You think about those things and it’s a lot of shorter jitterbug type guys. There have been successful long-limbed KR. Think Cordarrelle Patterson. He’s full-on 6’3/6’4. Cordy might be a better comp for Watson than MVS is, but you hope that he becomes more of a WR. As a junior, he was a first-team All-American kickoff returner as a senior they didn’t kick to him because the conference learned their lesson.
5.) By the end of the season, Christian Watson is the ___ WR for the Packers (catch/yards wise)