The San Diego Chargers have selected Notre Dame guard Chris Watt with the 89th pick in the NFL Draft.
Watt was a three year starter for the Irish and was a solid anchor for the team. He has prototypical size for the position, measuring in at 6-2 and 310-pounds.
Watt was a very solid run blocker in college and made up for his inadequacies with above average awareness and a high motor. Sometimes Watt is fine with just holding off his man rather than putting him on his backside. When Watt wants to be aggressive, he shows flashes of being a dominant interior lineman.
Watt is also very good at getting to the second level on run plays and finding the closing linebacker. He is one of the reasons why the Irish should have run the ball more in 2013.
Watt isn’t nearly as good at pass blocking, however, which makes him less valuable in the NFL. He has a tendency to merely fend off his man instead of trying to redirect him. This leads to the pocket collapsing up the middle when he loses position.
This is a big concern as Watt likely won’t be able to hold up against talented pass rushers in the NFL. His lateral speed is questionable and he will need to make up for it by being in perfect position and finding his mean streak.
Watt had a series of knee injuries during his senior year and missed two games. He tore his PCL and only missed one game due to the injury, but then sprained his MCL in the season finale and missed the Pinstripe Bowl. Before 2013, Watt was completely healthy and didn’t miss a start.
Watt is very good in a zone blocking scheme which makes him a great fit for the Chargers. He is extremely tough and that is something San Diego’s line has been missing. This should be a very good fit for Watt, especially if he develops as a pass blocker.
He will likely start out as a depth player, but could push for time in camp if he is healthy and shows an ability to protect Philip Rivers when he drops back.