2013 NFL Draft: Oakland Raiders Select OT Menelik Watson in Round 2

By Jonathan Comeaux
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders addressed a need at right tackle with Menelik Watson from Florida State. ESPN’s Todd McShay labeled Watson as a “project” player and that he will take time to develop.

Despite the prognostication, Watson has every chance to start for the Raiders. Oakland currently has Khalif Barnes set to return as the team’s starter at RT and it isn’t set to be his outright.

There is also the possibility of Barnes or Watson moving into the OG position. With Tony Bergstrom set to be the teams first-string left guard, I wouldn’t rule out the switch in duties to any of the players. Taking into factor that Watson only has one-season of NCAA football experience, him making a move might be a viable option.

Watson’s listed strengths are: Good footwork, superior strength, quickness, good pass protection and ability of generating cut-back blocks. He’s a huge specimen at 6-5 and very strong; scouts say he is very explosive off the line.

Weaknesses: First off, he is very raw with his one season at FSU. NFL.com‘s description of him states he is: Older than ideal. Hand placement is poor. Often hits outside of the frame, and will have a tendency to get overly grabby. CBS Sports says he struggles with leverage, especially in short yardage situations and can get knocked backwards. They also bring into example how he was once a basketball player, questioning his passion for football.

Watson impressed many people during the NFL Combine where he recorded a 27.5-inch vertical jump and 19 bench-press lifts. The performance and depiction reminds of Bruce Campbell, a fourth-round draftee in 2010 by the Raiders. Fans will remember that he just didn’t work out.

Now, I’m not drawing comparisons already, because Watson was a considerably better rated player than Campbell. Watson should play immediately for a depleted offensive line, regardless of McShay’s opinion.

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