PRO 2022 Rookie Spotlight: Christian Watson, WR North Dakota State

Rookie Spotlight: Christian Watson, North Dakota State (Photo via NDSU Athletics) 
Height: 6-4
Weight: 211
Hands: 10″
Arm: 32 3/4″
40 yard dash: 4.36
NFL Comparison: Miles Boykin, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Mike Evans

College Production (Final Season)
27% team receptions
35% team receiving yards
35% team receiving TDs

Breakout Age: 23

Thrilling size/speed combo
99th-percentile speed score
Premier body control
Changes direction smoothly
Precise route runner
Powerful after the catch
Explosive out of breaks
NFL family; father a safety for Chiefs, Giants and Eagles
Great week at the Senior Bowl

Mediocre competition
Limited route tree

Scouting Notes: 6’5” with 4.44 wheels? Yes, please. Well, it’s uncertain Watson will run the same forty time that he did in high school, but by the looks of his tape I can’t imagine he’s fallen too far behind. A 20-21 All American 1st team AP WR and multi All American kick returner, Watson was an explosive force on the field for NDSU. Once Watson gets up to speed there’s little chance in stopping him unless you’re already in front of him. And that might be hard too, as Watson has the start-stop-pivot ability to maneuver his way around tacklers. Case in point was his back to back TD performance in the NCAA semi-final against Montana State in 2019, when down 7-0, Watson caught a 75-yard TD pass in the 2nd quarter and then scored a 70-yard reverse on NDSU’s next offensive play. Though his route tree was limited, Watson ran his routes sharply and has shown success in press and off coverage, closing gaps quickly and with ease. He keeps his pads low through his breaks then springs to life to shake his defender or rise above him to snatch the ball from the air. He’s also powerful enough to use his stiff-arm effectively when he doesn’t have room or time to juke or cut. With his rare combination of size and speed, Watson was Trey Lance’s favorite WR during his time at NDSU, and he is probably the best WR to come out of the FCS this year. With an affable personality, prototypical build and athleticism to spare, it’s hard not to like Watson on paper.

Fantasy Outlook:
Watson dominated FCS corners, but he’ll need to show that he can create separation with top-caliber corners at the Senior Bowl. At 6’5’’ with 4.4 speed, he should be able to do that. Watson has NFL pedigree to go along with his skillset, as his father Tim was a 6th round draft pick, who played for 5 different teams as a safety in the 90’s. Slated to be a mid-round selection in this year’s draft, Christian has all the tools necessary to succeed at the next level and in fantasy if he can escape the idea that he’s strictly a deep ball specialist. Those types of players can doom fantasy teams with their inconsistency. Watson is multi-faceted, and the right team will be able to get him on the field and keep him there. UPDATE: Watson answered many questions at the Senior Bowl about his ability to compete at a high level. He should be a Day 2 pick, and as such becomes a player who’ll come into focus likely in late Round 2 of early 12 team, 1QB dynasty rookie drafts before we know his NFL landing spot.


* 2021 Walter Payton Award Watch List
* 2020-21 Associated Press All-America First Team (AP)
* 2020-21 Stats Perform All-America First Team (KR)
* 2020-21 HERO Sports All-America First Team (KR)
* 2020-21 Athlon Sports All-America First Team (KR)
* 2020-21 Phil Steele All-America First Team (KR)
* 2020-21 All-MVFC First Team (WR)
* 2020-21 All-MVFC Second Team (RS)
* 2019 All-MVFC Second Team (WR)
* 2020-21 MVFC Offensive Player of the Week
* 2018 MVFC Honor Roll

Leave a Reply