The 2017 NFL Draft will see some great defensive prospects join NFL teams. One of those prospects is Clemson’s Carlos Watkins, who the KC Chiefs could have a real shot at landing in the first or second round.
Carlos Watkins could be a very “Chiefs-like” pick, as he’s one of the better defensive prospects on the board, but is projected by CBS Sports to be a second-round pick. The former Clemson Tiger spent five years at his alma mater and is an extremely athletic player, according to his draft profile on NFL.com.
Watkins really broke out onto the scene during his fifth and final year at Clemson, as the young Tiger racked up 50 tackles (12.5 for loss), 10.5 sacks, and defended four passes. His efforts certainly contributed to Clemson winning the National Championship Game against the Alabama Crimson Tide.
While Watkins looks like good prospect from afar, Lance Zierlein of NFL.com pretty much said “Not so fast” on his draft profile (linked above), stating,
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"His top-heavy frame limits his anchor at the point of attack and if his motor isn’t revved up, he gets put on skates too often against power. Watkins has some talent and his traits are NFL-worthy, but he could end up being a Day 3 selection who will need to play at a more consistent level in order to become a factor as a pro."
In other words, Carlos Watkins could go as high as the first round or could end up being one of those great “late adds” for a team.
The KC Chiefs have shown that they’re all about drafting for defense over the past few years (at least early), and this is a very realistic pick for them.
Ben Almquist has Carlos Watkins as a first round prospect on his big board, which could end up happening. Obviously a lot of questions will be answered over the next few months, but Watkins could be the type of player that ends up eventually filling the void of Dontari Poe and Jaye Howard (whose contract is up after 2017).
The Chiefs need to add a run stopper to this team and his draft profile had mentioned that Watkins was good at challenging opposing running backs. That’s what the Chiefs could use on their defensive unit heading into another season. They cannot have a poor run defense for a third straight season.
Overall, I think many members of Chiefs Kingdom would be thrilled with this pick. Carlos Watkins just screams “KC Chiefs first round draft pick” to me. Perhaps that’ll come true in the 2017 NFL Draft.