The 2022 NFL draft is stacked full of quality players at multiple positions, and with scouts and upper management finally able to meet with them in person, a better evaluation process is undoubtedly in place. As for the New York Giants, they need help at pretty much every position, and with veteran receiver Sterling Shepard suffering a torn Achilles last season, targeting a mid-round pass-catcher could be a priority.
There have been several stand-out athletes at the NFL Combine this week, but North Dakota State University receiver Christian Watson has impressed significantly among his compatriots.
Watson enters the NFL at 6’4″ and 21- pounds, with a 77-inch wingspan and 10-inch hands. Having played 52 games during his collegiate career, he has tallied 2,140 yards and 16 total touchdowns. Last season, he recorded 801 yards and eight total touchdowns, displaying phenomenal size and ball skills.
Coming from a smaller school undoubtedly puts a bit of pressure on Watson to exceed expectations, and he’s done just that in front of NFL teams at the Combine.
“We see it every day,” North Dakota State offensive coordinator Tyler Roehl said. “There’s always a little bit of doubt in everyone else’s mind from an outsider standpoint of ‘There is no way it’s that fast,’ but when you can see and really feel his speed in person it’s almost like it’s effortless.”
After a dominant performance on Thursday, posting 4.36 40-yard dash, Watson could be catapulting his stock into the first two days of the NFL draft. However, with a little bit of luck, the Giants could have a shot at him at the beginning of the third round, especially with a deep wide receiver class this year.
“Pending his official numbers, Watson is expected (to) enter the draft as one of only three receivers to measure in at 6’4-plus & earn a 90-plus athleticism score in the NGS Draft model,” Next Gen Stats posted.
Christian Watson made it a point to etch his name in as a Day 1 guy.
6-foot-4 with a 4.28 40 and fluidity like this doesn’t grow on trees. pic.twitter.com/gLH1tROK4Y
— Ryan Fowler (@_RyanFowler_) March 4, 2022
Big Blue currently features Kenny Golladay as their primary boundary receiver and Kadarius Toney in the slot, but adding a speedster with Watson‘s size would give them even more talent on the outside. The retention of Darius Slayton adds a bit of competition, but the Giants need more bodies in the room to push each other — Slayton posted a disappointing 18.8% drop rate last season, the highest of his career by a large margin.
Watson would offer the Giants’ offensive scheme a speedy option with great size on the outside. The Giants need more athleticism as they prepare to overhaul the system and put in place a far more dynamic and modern unit. Watson’s big-play ability downfield and solid hands make him a perfect prospect in the mid-rounds, and with a little bit of luck, the Giants might have a chance at him.