Chris Watt, LG, Notre Dame (6'3", 310 lbs)
Third Round: 89th Pick
NFL Comparison: Mike Brisiel, Offensive Guard, Oakland Raiders
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- Smart player who was a dependable cog on a frequently dominating left side of the Notre Dame line with teammate Zack Martin.
- Thick, sturdy-looking prospect throughout the entire body, from the chest through the hips and down.
- Derives a significant amount of explosion through the hips, which is always something evaluators covet.
- Good awareness pre-snap; was frequently the "quarterback" of the O-line, making calls, assigning the "Mike" or communicating changes in protections and shifts.
- Has displayed the quickness necessary to get to the second level of the defense, generally putting himself in great position to execute assignments.
- Clearly a player with above-average upper-body strength.
- Finished a very respectable 13th among offensive linemen at the combine in the bench press test.
- Opportunistic prospect who plays with good motor and always goes looking for work when uncovered or when the play breaks down.
- Fires out of nice, low stance in the run game and displays adequate leg drive to move anchoring defenders off their spots in frequent circumstances.
- Adept at engaging when in good position at the point of attack, nicely rolling his hips into defenders with explosion and power.
- Keeps a solid base and at most points in games plays a balanced brand of line technique.
- Generally gets himself in good position to handle rushers who want to cross his face mask by generating great torque in his post step.
- Surprising amount of quickness and burst in short areas.
- Great student who got his degree in business before enrolling as a Notre Dame graduate student for the 2013 season.
- Inconsistent—through 2013 would go from looking like a dominating presence to a turnstile within short periods.
- Lacks ideal size and is not put together athletically.
- Does not always drive his opponent through engagement, sometimes pushing and shoving rather than latching on and controlling dominantly.
- Much more refined as a run-blocker than as a pass-blocker.
- Can be made to look like a matador dodging a charging bull when pitted against interior defenders with elite redirect and disengage skills.
- Does not have the best feet; can appear unathletic and very beatable in numerous facets of pass protection.
- Can take bad angles in the run game against slanting defenders, allowing for penetration and in the worst cases missing his man entirely.
- Has short arms and needs major development with hand placement.
- Tendency to catch, then punch opposing rushers leads to poor positioning and surrender of inherent offensive advantages.
- Injured his knee in 2013 (no surgery required) vs. Stanford and was unable to participate in the Pinstripe Bowl.
- Was not able to participate in the Senior Bowl due to the knee injury and could only test for the bench press while in Indy for the combine.
- Too much wasted motion setting into pass-protection steps.
- Goes to the ground too often.
- After three years in the Notre Dame system, identifying areas of massive growth from season to season is not as easy a task as it should be.
- Tied for the smallest hands of all offensive linemen measured at the combine.
Personal Notes (via Notre Dame Athletic Department)
- Brother, Kevin, played defensive end at Northwestern (2007-11).
- Played for head coach Chad Hetlet at Glenbard West High School.
- Son of Mary Pat and Rich Watt.
- Graduated on May 19 from the Mendoza College of Business with a degree in marketing.
- Enrolled as an unclassified graduate student.
Watt's best attributes as an offensive guard prospect at the NFL level are his motor, his toughness and his intelligence. While Watt shows the ability to complete certain important athletics tasks at a high level, he exhibits limited upside across numerous others.
Watt's explosion and power through his hips—and his ability to roll them up and through opposing defenders in small spaces—should be his biggest saving grace in the eyes of evaluators. Explosion through the hips is the unteachable catalyst for so many other easily teachable, important movements stemming from it.
Watt's lack of length, his inability to test through the draft's annual evaluation process and his failure to really ever turn any major corners developmentally through three very solid years at Notre Dame will leave many teams wondering what sort of prospect they really have on their hands here.
Watt will be targeted by an NFL team looking for immediate offensive line depth through the interior positions and will not be a player expected to come in and start immediately outside of the most wildly optimistic expectations.
Draft Projection: 5th Round