With the No. 42 overall pick in the draft the Raiders added a large, physical offensive lineman in Menelik Watson.
Watson is fairly new to the sport of football, having grown up in England and not taking up football until 2011 when he played the sport for the first time in his life at Saddleback Junior College.
His performance and incredible athleticism caught the eye of the coaching staff at Florida State and he was brought to Tallahassee in 2012 where he earned the starting right tackle position. Despite only having one year playing D1 football, he declared for the NFL draft at the end of the season.
Watson is 6’5” 310 lbs and he possess long enough arms, measured at 34”, to keep defensive players from getting into his body.
He boasts great upper body strength and he moves very well for a such a large man. Although he played RT in college, many scouts believe he can eventually make the transition to LT because of his athletic gifts.
Prior to trying football, Watson played soccer growing up, transitioned to basketball in his late teens and tried his hand at boxing early in his 20’s as well.
The consensus among draft evaluators was that he was a late first round or early second round pick so the Raiders took him right where he was projected to go.
The Raiders have an above average LT in Jared Veldheer but he’s in the final year of his contract in 2013. They have a need for an upgrade at RT where Khalif Barnes is a false start machine.