Packers Deep Dive -- Second Round Pick Christian Watson

 

After passing over the position to address the defense in the first round, it didn't take the Green Bay Packers long to snag their wide receiver on Day 2 of the NFL Draft. Brian Gutekunst traded the 53rd and 59th pick in the second round to the Minnesota Vikings to move up and select North Dakota State wide receiver Christian Watson with the 34th overall pick.

When looking at Watson's elites athletic tools and high upside, it is easy to see why the Packers front office was willing to be aggressive to get the 6-foot-4, 208-pound wide receiver. The FCS standout has all of the ability to develop into a legitimate No. 1 wideout in the NFL.

After losing Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling in the offseason, the Packers are in need of playmakers in the passing game. Watson can be that very thing, and it may not take him as long as some suspect. The North Dakota State product has been unfairly compared to MVS coming out of college, and while granted, they are both basically the same height and weight, this does not mean they are even close to the same type of player.

MVS's ceiling in the NFL is an effective No. 2 receiver who can stretch the field, and while Watson can fulfill this role, he has a much higher ceiling than that. He is also better in contested catch situations and offers more versatility as an offensive weapon. There is a reason Watson was selected early in the second round as opposed to the fifth round.

College Production

Watson played in 52 games for the Bisons, starting three seasons and earning two FCS All-American honors. He finished his career at NDSU averaging 20.38 yards per reception, and impressively, he was responsible for 57 plays that went for over 20 yards. As a senior, Watson led the Bison in receiving, hauling in 43 receptions for 801 yards and seven touchdowns. He also rushed for 114 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries.

Over the course of his collegiate career, Watson caught 104 passes for 2,140 yards and 14 touchdowns, while only being targeted 120 times. This is all impressive production in a run-heavy Bison offense with limited opportunities for its receivers.

Athletic Testing

Often in draft pundit circles "athletic freak" or "unicorn" are thrown around too much. However, in Watson's case, it completely rings true. This type of athlete is rare. At the NFL Combine, Watson recorded the 6th fastest forty-yard time and 6th highest vertical among receivers. He also led the position with the longest broad jump at 136 inches. All impressive too, given he was one of the largest wide receivers at the event.

The MVS comps are cheap, in my opinion. They are not the same type of athlete or style of player. Yes, they both have blazing speed and size. However, Watson is a stronger player, shows more wiggle in space and has a better ability to break tackles in the open field. He also has that "alpha" dog attitude we just never saw with MVS.

I'm not a big fan of player comps, but a closer comparison for Watson might be Javon Walker--the Packers first-round pick from 2003. Watson could be that kind of player in this offense, but offer more longevity as well.

Traits to Love and What Watson Brings to the Packers Offense

1. Field Stretcher -- Watson's top-end 4.36 speed allows him to take the top off a defense. This keeps safeties honest, opens up space for other receivers underneath and takes pressure off the run game. Watson is a deep ball threat each time he takes the field, and defenses will have to respect that. MVS did serve this role for the Packers offense, and it was incredibly valuable, even if he was rarely at the center of Matt LaFlauer's gameplan. In the very least, Watson can serve this same function. This is where he can contribute immediately as a rookie while he works on refining the more complex aspects of the position.

2. Big Play Ability -- Watson is a big play waiting to happen. With limited touches in college, he certainly made the most of it. He can separate using his speed and catch deep balls downfield. He can take a bubble screen and make defenders miss, getting yards after the catch. He can turn on the burners on a jet sweep, round a corner, and find an opening. When North Dakota State needed a big play in a crucial moment, they turned to Watson. This is huge for a quarterback to have, especially on key third downs. Just watch the Missouri State game to see examples of Watson making big plays in clutch moments.

3. Body Control -- Watson has impressive body control as a receiver. He can contort his body and adjust to the ball in the air. He can make the difficult sideline catches or lay out for the pass that was seemingly out of reach. He can make tough contested catches, despite a defender being draped over him. And while he had drops at times, he does show very good concentration to haul in acrobatic receptions. He also moves very well and shows good change of direction, whether that is breaking out of his routes or running in space with the ball in his hands.

4. Competitive Toughness -- The North Dakota State standout is simply tough. He is a physical run blocker, which is a huge asset in LaFlauer's offense. He is also not afraid to lay out for the difficult catch. This guy is quite the competitor, which makes him easy to like. He will also try to run through defenders. And while some have criticized his ability to make contested catches, I do not see this deficiency in his game. There are numerous examples from his tape where Watson makes a difficult catch in coverage or with a defender draped all over him. He also isn't afraid to go over the middle of the field and take a hit from a safety coming downhill.

Areas of Improvement for the Next Level

1. More Consistent Hands -- The issue with drops has been widely noted. He had 16 in college in 120 targets. However, I do feel this has been a bit exaggerated. Watching his tape, it doesn't seem as frequent as some people have made it out to be. Yes, he needs to be more consistent with his hands. However, some of the drops in his tape weren't entirely his fault. He wasn't exactly playing with quarterbacks who consistently put the ball right on him. He also makes enough difficult catches and big plays that more than make up for an occasional drop. Also, just about every top-end receiver for the Packers in recent memory struggled with drops early in their career--James Jones, Davante Adams, Jordy Nelson, MVS, etc. It shouldn't be a big issue at the next level.

2. Play Strength -- Watson is a pretty strong kid. He put up 18 reps on the bench press, which is a good number for a wide receiver. However, on tape, it seems there's still some room for him to get a little stronger going into the NFL. He could add a little weight to his frame without losing his speed or athleticism. He is physical in his blocking, but he will need to get stronger to beat press against NFL corners. He can get pushed around a bit at times too when guarded by big physical defensive backs. He won't be able to outrun everyone at the next level, so he will need to use his size and length at times to box-out corners and make catches with a defender on his back.

Question Marks Going Into the NFL

1. Diverse Route Tree? -- This is not a criticism by any means, but it is more of an unknown. Watson wasn't asked to run a variety of routes at North Dakota State. He ran a lot of go routes, posts, hitches, stops, and bubbles. However, there is nothing in his tape that shows he doesn't have an understanding of the entire route tree necessarily--there just isn't a ton of evidence of him running much else. Granted, he did demonstrate good route running ability at the Senior Bowl in the one-on-one matchups. He has the change of direction to be an effective route runner in the short and intermediate areas of the field. It will be interesting to see how he does in LaFlauer's system. It is easy to see the Packers utilizing Watson's strengths and hitting him on crossers, corner routes, and double-breaking routes, like waggles, hitch-and-gos, sluggos, or zap outs. The Packers could also get creative with him as a motion player, which he did plenty of in college.

2. Football IQ? -- This uncertainty about Watson's game is building off the previous one, but because Watson's role in the Bison offense was a bit limited when it came to route running, it will be interesting to see how quickly Watson picks up the Green Bay offense, as well as Aaron Rodgers' audibles and preferences. This could be a real challenge for the rookie, and honestly, for any rookie coming into the Packers offense. While LaFlauer and the Packers front office have commented on how impressed they were with Watson's intelligence, and this could be a good sign that Watson will pick things up quickly. However, it may take him some time, just like any other rookie, to read defenses and understand Rodgers' approach on the field. It will also take Watson some time to find the soft spots in zones and settling in to openings--something he never had to do in college. It also may take him some time to get a feel for Rodgers' ability to freelance and make throws outside the pocket.

Film Highlights: Watson vs. Missouri State, South Dakota, & Northern Iowa

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0 points

Comments (80)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
MainePackFan's picture

May 03, 2022 at 09:12 am

The Packers certainly have added some athletic freaks to their roster. Walker, Watson etc.

If you haven't seen Tyler Goodson in action, you need to check him out. Aaron Jones and Swerve all wrapped up in one. Impressive!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIfz8_RDcBY

6 points
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frankthefork's picture

May 03, 2022 at 09:55 am

I think he "goodie" could make the final 53...is his height a curse or blessing-we shall see in August. Also, LB Brooks takes Ty's spot on the 53.
Look out for Vikes RB Chandler...zowie. Gutey gave up the farm to queens on trading up and they took the best-rounded RB that could kill the Packers for years to come. Good thing the trenches are fortified!

-3 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

May 03, 2022 at 11:32 am

Giving up a late Second is not "giving up the farm" for Watson. Denver trading for Wilson was.

8 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

May 03, 2022 at 01:20 pm

Goodson was a steal.

6 points
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Archie777's picture

May 03, 2022 at 09:19 am

This is the one pick that makes me nervous given that we gave up two #2s for him. Love the measurables and athleticism but it seems like he has a long ways to go to be a fully polished and functional NFL wide-out. It may not take him a few years to come into his own - about the same time Rodgers decides to call it a career.

I'd like to see the Pack trade Love for Chase Claypool. But, Pittsbugh has their QB of the future now. So give them a #3 pick and maybe Amari Rodgers who looks like a total bust.

-10 points
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Untylu1968's picture

May 03, 2022 at 09:28 am

For the people with slow brains! They gave up one second round pick... Math is hard!

2 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

May 03, 2022 at 11:04 am

really.....

3 points
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Return_To_Sanity's picture

May 03, 2022 at 10:30 am

You lost me at trading Jordan Love. Love's value, even as an unknown at this point, still massively outweigh's Claypool's value just because he still has the potential to become a special player. Rodgers didnt truly breakout till age 25 and they won 6 games that year. Love is only 23. Dont get me wrong, I wouldnt be mad at trading for Claypool. I just dont think they should get rid of Love to make it happen.

10 points
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wiremans12's picture

May 03, 2022 at 12:54 pm

You are so right seems many Packers fans are blinded from the truth expecting this kid to be the #1 WR is foolish.
Your trade idea is a good one but better yet trading up for NFL ready Olave not Watson was the move we really needed as while Watson is talented he is a two year project .

-9 points
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BirdDogUni's picture

May 03, 2022 at 07:58 pm

Do you ever get tired of being wrong?

Are you a Weather Man?

2 points
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SpikeHyzer's picture

May 03, 2022 at 04:30 pm

We gave up 1 pick.
2 picks for 1 equals 1.
The net loss of players is 1.
To give up 2 picks for 1--especially when those 2 picks are FAR worse rated--is to give up 1 pick.

He will be ready right away. Some receivers have been lately, as the position improves and colleges play more pro style ball.

He seems coachable. Love is the QB of the future and absolutely should not be traded, especially for a position of no more need.
Rodgers played 105 snaps and had injuries. Can't call him a bust yet.

5 points
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Archie777's picture

May 04, 2022 at 08:17 am

This will be Love's 3rd season in GB. There will be no 5th year extension unless QB1 walks after one year on his new contract. So we have at most one more year of Love after 2022. Now if he fares poorly in 2022 pre-season, he probably gets cut before final 53. If he does well, and QB1 decides to stay in GB, what do we do with him in 2023 - give him away for nothing in FA? That is about only option we would have if we keep him this year and if he shows great improvement in the pre-season. Gutey is probably hoping for a good pre-season, followed by another team losing its QB to injury. That would maximize Love's trade value sometime in 2022. Hard to see Pack keeping him in 2023 under any of these scenarios. Now if he plays lights out in 2022 pre-season and QB1's play goes downhill, we have a situation where if MLF benches Rodgers for Love, Rodgers walks out on the team never to be seen again in GB. So if I'm GB's GM i'm hopimng I can move Love in 2022.

-3 points
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Leatherhead's picture

May 03, 2022 at 09:37 am

Watson checked a lot of boxes. Big. Fast. He seemed to be consistently ranked somewhere between #22 and #53, meaning our first pick was a little too early, and he'd be gone by the time we picked at #53, so it was either take him at #28 or trade up to take him.

He'll be a good addition to the WR unit for the next four years. He'll almost certainly improve during his time here. I'd be happy if this guy caught 40 balls this year.....that's only about 2 per game. I'm not expecting him to be a top receiver as a rookie.

The bonus stuff....his Dad being drafted by the Packers, the small school stuff.....that doesn't change what he is. He's a big , fast guy who can block and catch. He'll be useful.

11 points
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MainePackFan's picture

May 03, 2022 at 09:49 am

With his Dad being an NFL defensive back, I have to believe that Watson is more polished than some think.

Just because NDSU asked him to run a limited route tree, doesn't mean his route tree is limited :-)

8 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

May 03, 2022 at 01:27 pm

Who would you rather learn the NFL Game from, your Dad who played as a Professional DB, or a coach running the wishbone with a single flanker running a two-route tree??

6 points
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greengold's picture

May 03, 2022 at 01:58 pm

Exactly, Mainer! Pronounce that ending with an “a” btw…

CW had 43 receptions last season. Power running O program. Had he gotten just 20 more….? He’d have been well over 1000 yd receiver. Arguably, a LOTTERY level R1 pick…

The more I learn about Watson, it’s just STUPID the good fortune we’re likely to realize.

Throw in the sweet Watson, Doubs, Toure triplet…? Aaron Rodgers could make ONE HELLUVA LOTTA HAY, with those three alone, if he were to embrace it like a kid again… go back to his 2010 self…

Throw Lazard in there, Watkins end of season… Cobb for shits & giggles…! Wow.

4 points
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MainePackFan's picture

May 03, 2022 at 02:55 pm

A-Yuh :)

2 points
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greengold's picture

May 03, 2022 at 04:19 pm

Ha! I knew you knew…!!! Was thinking more along the lines of a public service announcement.

I shoulda (“a” pronounced as an “r”) been more clear (a)…

1 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

May 03, 2022 at 10:53 am

LH,
Agree with all your points above. Just curious though where you saw Watson ranked as high as #22? I consistently saw Watson ranked between say 42 and say 56. However, I always believed Gutey would need to go slightly higher in round 2 from where these WR's were ranked to make sure he secured either Watson, or Pickens because everyone knew a WR was desperately needed. Why I think Gutey panicked somewhat and paid more than he truly needed to draft Watson.

Going into round 2 Daniel Jeremiah had his top ranked players still available shown on the TV screen with Skyy Moore the next WR at #44, Christian Watson at #45, George Pickens at #61, John Metchie III at #73, and Alec Pierce at #75. Going into round 2, I thought Gutey had to move up from #53 sweeting the pot slightly using maybe a 4th round pick to ensure the Pack got either Watson or Pickens. It's possible Gutey knew something behind the scenes where another team might really want Watson and was trying to trade up?

Following the draft the players still availabe at #53 included Alec Pierce, Skyy Moore, and Trey McBride at TE. Pickens went one selection earlier at #52. At #59 these Edge rushers were still available Drake Jackson, and Nik Bonitto.

I like Christian Watson the player but also like the person. He is definitely Packer people and I cannot wait to see him grow into the player we all hope he can be. Having said that, I will always believe the Packers after a fantastic round 1 had too much time overnight to think about the possibility of losing Christian. They had extra draft capital to make sure they secured Watson but I will always believe they over-reacted and did not need to use #59 to get him. By doing so they lost out on another top 60 player at either Edge, or OT. The draft is in the rear view mirror and I still say I really like the draft Gutey put together though I will always wonder....what if?

2 points
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wiremans12's picture

May 03, 2022 at 01:01 pm

Watson is talented and gifted but is not NFL ready at all he's a two year project with Rodgers being 38 i can not imagine he is happy with the three guys we drafted .
Expect a vetran signing for the number one role someone like Jarvis Landry.

-3 points
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Coldworld's picture

May 03, 2022 at 02:59 pm

While I suspect similarly, that kind of thinking is a black hole. We won’t and can’t know.

The fact is Watson is a guy many imbue with more polish than he has, read to much into his completely overwhelming superiority over his opposition and team mates and try to explain away questions that him having 11 less career catches than Moss had TDs.

I get it. He has the potential to be a generational player. If he gets close we win by a country mile. The reality is he can help somewhat now but not at his pick level. The upside is not ever guaranteed and it’s going to take time. I think there’s a good chance he has the right attitude to help him, but we all need to temper expectations to allow for the amount of learning he has to undertake and the time that will take. As it stands, we picked potential almost entirely. Whether and to what extent that is realized and when will determine the wisdom of that gamble.

-2 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

May 03, 2022 at 01:24 pm

Give Old School credit, he read my Mocks...

-1 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

May 03, 2022 at 02:51 pm

Jannes,
For years I have wondered about what has happened with Old School. Anyone know?

1 points
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greengold's picture

May 03, 2022 at 08:03 pm

Had the Giants, Texans, Bears, Patriots, Colts and Chiefs all right behind the 34… all wanting WR.

Gutekunst was prudent, IMO, spending more than value to secure their TOP WR available on their board, the one they wanted to the Packers after the R1 dust settled overnight.

That was a smart, bold move, the difference in value worth the opportunity, in my eyes. Sometimes you just have to go get your guy. If you believe in the player that much, and in your team assembled, and that one player kind of completes the circle… that’s what I see here. I’ll back that all day, any day. Smart, reasoned, studied & judicious risk taking in trading away draft assets for optimal talent infusions.

Sometimes you gotta make your luck.

Pretty dynamic WR/QB pairing. Watson/Rodgers. Seems a connection that could thrive. BIGTIME. I don’t think there’s any question at all that Rodgers was involved in, and excited about the trade and selection of WR Christian Watson.

4 points
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wiremans12's picture

May 03, 2022 at 12:56 pm

But we needed a WR to step in day one not a project this can not make Rodgers happy one bit.

-5 points
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Coldworld's picture

May 03, 2022 at 01:21 pm

Doubs and even Toure may well surprise you.

5 points
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MooPack's picture

May 03, 2022 at 09:49 am

Really good article on father son relationship and how Christian was groomed from very early age.

https://www.si.com/nfl/packers/news/like-father-like-son-the-christian-w...

The "Questions" on the route tree and football IQ are answered in this article and will be answered on the field. I have no question about either. Father bias or not, He seems pretty honest, and I think CW is going to surprise. I said in a few other posts I had him as No.2 WR behind Williams. Everything I read about him reinforces that.

8 points
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HankScorpio's picture

May 03, 2022 at 07:02 pm

I read that article. I hope his dad trained Watson as a football player half as well as he sold him as the thing that will replace sliced bread. Lived and breathed football. Running pro-style routes from a young age. Never fumbled. Fast. Tough. Big. With his dad, an ex-NFL player, schooling him the entire way After reading it all, it was a question of when, not if, he goes into the Hall of Fame.

All over a guy that played against weak college competition in a less than pass-friendly offense. I dunno. We'll see what we see, I reckon. Whatever he is this year and beyond, it will be what he's earned. The bar is not very high to go all the way to WR1 in Green Bay. And there are plenty of snaps to be earned on STs.

1 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

May 03, 2022 at 07:50 pm

Wonderful that dad took such an interest in working with his kids and helping Christian develop. From the article I wonder if dad knows that now is the time for him to back off and allow Christian to be the focus? That he now has to hand Christian off and allow Packer coaches coach and mentor his son. Always think of family members like Odell Bexkham and Greg Jennings.

0 points
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Coldworld's picture

May 03, 2022 at 10:12 am

Watson is not MVS. Very different body type and a more rounded athlete. Watson is, however, rawer even than MVS. I’ve watched a lot of him. His hands have improved as he learns (a good sign) but he’s not a natural hands catcher. He also played against individuals among whom he at such an incredible physical advantage that he did not need to learn the niceties. He will have to now, and watching his film requires bearing that in mind if one wants to gain any kind of objective opinion. Give him time, and he could be a titan.

Janis was another who came out as a player who didn’t really need to learn or try. Watson is more rounded athletically, but we should remember that Janis never did get those technical elements in place. I think Watson has a strong chance to if he desires it enough (his father surely helps) and if we coach him intelligently and manage his entry into the NFL accordingly. A lot depends on him and a lot depends on the coaches now.

-7 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

May 03, 2022 at 12:31 pm

Christian Watson = CW

ColdWater = CW

Just saying....

😀

1 points
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dobber's picture

May 03, 2022 at 12:50 pm

Now that you mention it, I've never seen both of them in the same place at the same time...

4 points
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Coldworld's picture

May 03, 2022 at 01:27 pm

I can’t keep up with him, so not likely. Since he’s strapped to the biggest hype train I have seen, only less likely.

Give the kid a chance and inject some reality into expectations.

2 points
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greengold's picture

May 03, 2022 at 04:51 pm

Lol. I’m just sitting back, watching you, thinking, “oh no… don’t do it!”

OMG. That laugh, post surgery, really hurt! 🤣😂👊 OOF!!!

It’s near blasphemy uttering the names Schroeder, Janis & MVS with regards to this kid. Time very likely will show that to be true.

Coldworld, I really do think he’s gonna light that shit up, BIGTIME. (Not to mention, DOUBS TOO!) And, Rodgers will see that he does. Is there really anyone here thinking Aaron Rodgers wants to quit throwing the football?

If you think about it more broadly, it could be entirely transformative in the relationship between AR and Packers MGMT, as well as in how the end of AR’s days play out in GB. If this O seriously takes off, with THIS DEFENSE??? Sky’s the limit. Maybe he wins another ring, then another… and, then what???

I think it’s gonna be epic.

1 points
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BirdDogUni's picture

May 03, 2022 at 06:20 pm

Exactly what I would expect you to say if you actually were Christian Watson. ; )

(Keep your cape clean Cw!)

0 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

May 03, 2022 at 01:45 pm

LOL!

1 points
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BirdDogUni's picture

May 03, 2022 at 06:23 pm

His father would certainly take exception to your calling him raw. (He hates that.) Per the article:

https://www.si.com/nfl/packers/news/like-father-like-son-the-christian-w...

2 points
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greengold's picture

May 03, 2022 at 10:49 am

I think I was wrong on WR Christian Watson. I wrote him off immediately based on level of competition faced. While that is of concern, knowing he will meet up with far superior DBs in the NFL, with the speed and the size to knock him off routes, contest his Targets, etc., I’ve put a lot more study into him with a wealth more info on him post draft.

Best not to forget, while level of competition was lesser at NDSU, so was the level of coaching, player development and team resources. Not to mention, the level of QB play. Just like stars appear to be aligning with Quay, Wyatt, Enagbare adds to this Packers D, same appears true with this Christian Watson add, AND the Romeo Doubs & Samori Toure selections. Could these 3 WRs be walking into any better situations? With our ALWAYS LOOKING TO LIGHT IT UP Aaron Rodgers at QB?

***Watson is a faster Allen Lazard, and there ain’t nothing wrong with that.

He’s got toughness LaFleur likes exhibited in his open field run blocking, He plays with an all-out abandon, not reckless, but, controlled. After looking more closely at his film, I DON’T HAVE THOSE CONCERNS about higher level of defensive play he’ll be facing because he plays SO CONFIDENTLY.

NOTHING appears forced with him, or difficult. Granted, we have to be mindful we’re pretty much limited to “highlights,” with his being from such a small program. Regardless, I’m seeing a level of confident, dynamic play with Watson that should translate well in Green Bay.

His football IQ??? I don’t think there are ANY QUESTIONS there, being the son of a former NFL player and 1993 Packers draft pick, Safety Tim Watson. The kids of former players coming into the NFL all have a very high level understanding of the game. We’ve seen this translate recently with players like Runyan and WRs Michael Pittman Jr. and Van Jefferson.

I suspect Christian will be able to make an impact on this Packers team, readily, from Day 1, and I’m thrilled with the trade up to go get him. We needed a dynamic talent infusion there WITH SPEED. Gutekunst knew it was going to cost him, and he and the Packers felt it was easily worth the investment.

What a story this could make... Remarkable. We’ll see.

9 points
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Leatherhead's picture

May 03, 2022 at 12:29 pm

This is a big guy, and he's not going to be easy to knock him off the route. On the other side of the field is an even bigger guy, so any team that can't put two big, physical corners on the field is going to be in a mismatch the moment the ball is snapped, run or pass.

I hope he catches 40 passes, and I hope Watkins catches 75. That just about makes up for the 123 catches Adams had last year.

3 points
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MainePackFan's picture

May 03, 2022 at 12:45 pm

I can't help but think Lazard is in for a big year. Just a hunch.

3 points
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BirdDogUni's picture

May 03, 2022 at 07:06 pm

Did you guys know that Christian Watson has played football for 18 years and has never fumbled the ball? (Fun Fact for the day, per his father.)

3 points
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dobber's picture

May 03, 2022 at 01:00 pm

I think the biggest beneficiaries of Adams' departure will be AJones and AJ Dillon. Together they caught 86 passes in 2021. Wouldn't be surprised if they top 110 catches between them in 2022.

3 points
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MooPack's picture

May 03, 2022 at 01:13 pm

I'd like to see UDFA RB Tyler Goodson Iowa make it on the roster or at least PS. Had 70 catches. Very elusive speed in space with good vision instincts. Has a lot of homerun potential. Has Aaron Jones look to him.

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

May 03, 2022 at 01:31 pm

He’s a better catcher coming out than Jones was, but he’s got some areas to work on in his run game. He’s nowhere near on vision and technique as a ball carrier.

0 points
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MainePackFan's picture

May 03, 2022 at 02:14 pm

CW. He showed vast improvement each year regarding his vision and technique. You can see the difference when he gets to the end of the run. Instead of dancing around, he puts head down and grabs the extra couple yards.

Kid's only 21, so he definitely has room to improve. I'm not sure about his pass pro. What have you seen?

0 points
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Return_To_Sanity's picture

May 03, 2022 at 05:16 pm

That 4.5 ypc playing behind a dominant oline is a concern for me and im guessing a big reason he went undrafted. Especially with all the big runs he had that shouldve inflated his ypc. Hes a big boom or bust type runner. A whole lot of no gains in between big plays.

1 points
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MainePackFan's picture

May 03, 2022 at 07:29 pm

I don't know about the dominant oline RTS. I just know I saw juice, speed, hands and a kid that improved every year. That works for me as an UDFA. As I always say, time will tell.

0 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

May 03, 2022 at 01:40 pm

I would expect the converse relationship.

0 points
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Tundraboy's picture

May 04, 2022 at 12:19 am

Excellent , and certainly not any knee jerk reaction here. Well done.

0 points
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stockholder's picture

May 03, 2022 at 10:29 am

Watson was a great Pick. Gutey had to get him for this Offense. Not Rodgers. Rodgers needed guys to stretch the field. But first they must catch the Ball. This is Rodgers Bitch. It's a Good one. Rodger's trusted guys. -- But he's paid the price, for those who couldn't.--
The chemistry grew with Nelson and Cobb. And Finley made them a great Trio. Even Jones wanted to be a part of it. There was No second guessing, if they'd catch it. That is what Brett Favre Had before Rodgers.
But that is what is missing now! The field has shrunk. Adams dropped passes and so did MVS. Sure they developed. But the confidence or chemistry just wasn't what we've seen. The positive opportunities were fruitless in the biggest games. And the guys Rodgers relied on, just weren't available. The WR corps have become a Guessing GAME. Hopefully these players find that relationship with Rodgers. Because it's been lost during the playoffs.

-5 points
3
8
jannes bjornson's picture

May 03, 2022 at 01:35 pm

Go tell it on the mountain. All three rookies will make Plays.

2 points
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splitpea1's picture

May 03, 2022 at 11:44 am

Yes, Watson is going have to work on the route tree. Yes, he's not going to be in total harmony with Rodgers at the beginning, but what rookie is? Rodgers is just going to have to show patience with his new receivers because he doesn't have any other choice. Rodgers may show some aggravation at times, but I hope he'll be smart enough to mute it somewhat.

Watson should be able to contribute immediately on special teams, so maybe we can start to put some of those adventures back there behind us.

2 points
3
1
jannes bjornson's picture

May 03, 2022 at 01:37 pm

Vegas has the props ready. I say he starts in the three-wide package. Play to Win. Tire-kicking is for County Fairs.
Lofton didn't gather moss just returning punts.

2 points
2
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LambeauPlain's picture

May 03, 2022 at 12:00 pm

Watson will not replace Adams, but he could in time.

He will replace MVS with a greater NFL skillset...and to even mention him in the same conversation with Janis is silly. Janis didn't replace anyone and still hasn't and is out of football.

Watson's QB rating when targeted was an elite 146. Watson had some drops over his college career, but only two last year. And he blocks...blocks well. He will take the ball on jets, from the backfield, on screens. He is an All American KR. He was a watchlist candidate for the Walter Payton Award. And he is an Honor Student.

Neither MVS nor Janis brought these attributes to 1265 Lombardi as a rookie.

6 points
6
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Coldworld's picture

May 03, 2022 at 12:46 pm

MVS notched up 581 yards as a rookie. Nothing on STs if I recall.
I expect Watson to help on STs whether as a returner or gunner. He may also run some of the option type plays EQ ran: end arounds etc. as well as functioning as a classic WR. Watson is a project in terms of justifying his pick, but he can still contribute this year if we handle him astutely this year.

Personally, I think Doubs is just as much a candidate to take some MVS routes as him. He was clocked faster in the Bowl game: don’t read to much into his 40 time, which was clocked coming back off injury at the combine.

-1 points
1
2
dobber's picture

May 03, 2022 at 01:13 pm

Even last year with Adams, MVS, Cobb, and Lazard, the Packers were playing enough 11 personnel to find snaps for the bottom WR on the roster--ESB, Winfree, etc. I suspect Doubs will get an early chance to make an impression, and I wouldn't be surprised if he runs with it. I'd be shocked if he doesn't turn into one of the Packers' preseason WR heroes.

3 points
3
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Return_To_Sanity's picture

May 03, 2022 at 05:20 pm

Watson and Sammy Watkins together will replace Adams and MVS. Watson will be the deep threat/clearout guy MVS was but since hes really good after the catch too he will get the quick outs and bubble screens against off coverage that Adams used to feast on. Watkins will be the route runner who gets moved around in order to get favorable matchups.

1 points
1
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ricky's picture

May 03, 2022 at 12:41 pm

My fondest hope and wish is that Watson becomes the next Randy Moss. Immediate impact, and improving from there. The best part is that it would have been a trade with the Vikings which would make this possible. Especially since the Packers had a chance to draft Moss, but took Vonnie Holliday instead, Will Watson have the same impact as Moss? Unlikely. But, it's the off-season, we've just had the draft, and it's time to be optimistic and swing for the fences with our dreams.

4 points
4
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jannes bjornson's picture

May 03, 2022 at 01:45 pm

Moss coached MVS at his Receiver's Camp and saved his NFL career, made him better. Watson will rise to the top of the list, barring injury.

1 points
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Return_To_Sanity's picture

May 03, 2022 at 05:24 pm

Thats a tall task considering Moss was the best rookie receiver in the history of the sport. Pretty unfair expectations imo.

1 points
1
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

May 03, 2022 at 08:13 pm

I like it Ricky! Why can't we dream big? My dreaming already has Jordan Love becoming the next ARod (on field anyway), and the defense reminiscent of the vaunted 1985 Bears defense. No reason I can't find a space to include Watson as the 2nd coming of Moss (on field player performance...not behavior). It's all good! 😀

0 points
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PatrickGB's picture

May 03, 2022 at 03:30 pm

This guy screams potential. One mock guy on TV compared him to MVS. I disagree. I see him as more of a Jordy Nelson clone and love is size and speed. However, I do hope that he is as hard of a worker that his father claims he is because he will definitely have to expand his route tree in Matt’s (and Rodgers) offense.

0 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

May 03, 2022 at 03:58 pm

Exercising patience will be critical but I also think Rodgers can help him dramatically this spring/summer/fall preparing him. I also think Rodgers can demonstrate his confidence in Watson by throwing to him game time and maybe a few more than he really should simply as a motivator and showing his support to Watson. MLF and Rodgers need to dial up some easy catches periodically and especially early in the year to help with the confidence.

0 points
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BirdDogUni's picture

May 03, 2022 at 07:31 pm

His father also said that he's not raw at all and that he has all those routes in his arsenal, but NDSU just didn't ask him to run them. (That's not what NDSU does.) I watched Ross Uglem talking about Christian Watson on a podcast, because he covers NDSU, and he said that NDSU attempted like 1,000 passes (total) in the whole 4 years Watson played. NDSU runs the ball...

I have watched MVS for the last 4 years? I've also watched everything I can find on CW. Watson is a football player. MVS is fast and happens to play football. Watson is a natural and MVS looks like he's fighting himself every time he runs a route. Yes, MVS and Watson are both 6' 4" and roughly the same weight, and CW is slightly faster than MVS, but that is where the comparisons end. Don't get me wrong, I love MVS, but CW is a natural FB player and MVS isn't.

MVS has made strides though and I expect him to break out with the Chiefs.

I also have high hopes for CW, but I also understand he's a rookie and has a lot to learn. With the addition of Sammy Watkins, I would expect the Packers to ease CW in, but who knows, maybe they toss him in the deep end of the pool, to see what they have. I expect him to get plenty of reps in the preseason and I expect to see flashes of what he can become. Won't surprise me if he becomes a beast though.

0 points
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Turophile's picture

May 03, 2022 at 04:11 pm

Watson isn't a finished product. That would be hard to achieve on a team as run-heavy as N.Dakota St. They had a 52-4 record over the last four years and given their success running the ball they didn't have to pass very much (even with Trey Lance starting 16 games in 2019).

Over the last four seasons, the NDS team only completed a grand total of 635 passes, so Christian Watson cannot have eye-popping stats. No 4th quarter slinging it about because they are losing, games.

Given how run heavy the team was, he did learn how to block. He also has electric speed when he runs reverses and after the catch, but more than that, he has the extra gear, the burst that makes a mockery of pursuit angles.

He isn't going to learn the subtleties of being a WR straight away, there is a big, big difference in what is asked of a WR in the NFL, compared to college. Even as a rookie though, he will command respect with that speed and that size - and once he begins to understand defenses and what they are trying to do, he will get better and better.

As long as he stays healthy and brave, and can progress in the mental part of the game, he has the physical talent to be a real high quality no.1 receiver.

Finally, the MVS comparison nonsense needs to die. Randy Moss is tall and fast, does that make Watson a Moss comp - or was MVS a Moss comp ? No.

3 points
3
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greengold's picture

May 03, 2022 at 07:53 pm

Perfectly stated, Turophile. Perfectly.

I don’t want to see another Jeff Janus uttering either! Bill Schroeder…? It just makes my skin crawl… LOL.

This is different. 100%.

0 points
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NoNonsense's picture

May 05, 2022 at 05:57 pm

Watson would be better compared to Moss than MVS athletically at least. MVS vertical jump was only 30.5 inches, Moss was probably more like 42 inches so Watson isn't too far behind him at 38.5. This gives Watson a much bigger catch radius than MVS and his ability to contort his body and make a tough catch is also much better.

The one trait that Watson has that Moss never had is Christian busts his ass every play. He's willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win. If that means running clear outs or just blocking the whole game he will give it 100% effort. Moss is famous for saying I play when I want to and when the ball didn't go to him sometimes he would pout or take the play off.

Moss was one of the best WRs I've ever seen with the ball in the air, I doubt Watson will ever be as good as him there but he can be better just about everywhere else. Hopefully he ends up winning more SBs than Moss at least.

1 points
1
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SpikeHyzer's picture

May 03, 2022 at 04:23 pm

I love this pick.
We lose MVS and Davantae, so we pick up a kid who has the size of Tae and the speed of MVS.

All we need to do is coach up the weaknesses mentioned and we may have some Calvin Johnson like production coming from he and Mr. Rodgers.

Well worth the cost.

1 points
1
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greengold's picture

May 03, 2022 at 07:46 pm

Spiker!!! I could not agree more! Completely.

I think Gutekunst’s trade up could go down in Packers history as one of his best. There’s that much to like here, and, I was, admittedly, oblivious to what he is really bringing to Green Bay.

I didn’t study the players the way I normally do this year because AR and all the garbage from the 2021 season took all of the excitement out of me.

Normally, every year I begin researching players after the Super Bowl, and I never start before then.

This year, I finally caved, because I’m a draft geek to the core, and just ignored him based upon NDSU’s weak schedule, and my cramming for the draft. That won’t be happening anymore if I can help it. Man, was I wrong.

This kid belongs just fine. And, that’s probably a huge understatement. I think Watson easily goes over 1000 yds receiving this year. No one’s going to be able to match defensively what we’re going to throw out there. No one.

I can’t think about this kid without thinking of Doubs on the other side… Who do they give Safety help to??? 3 Wide with Toure??? Wow.

This should prove to be really fun.

1 points
2
1
Rokkstar's picture

May 04, 2022 at 03:00 am

I've been huge on Doubs as a mid-rnd pick for a while now; one of my several draft crushes. I'm convinced that Watson isn't the only new game in town. As similar as the two of them are in their game talents and development needs, Doubs also has experience as being THE GUY in a passing offense. Both are worth licking the lips over; and this Toure guy?? The one I'd never heard of before?? Apparently this guy has tools and no less potential; and looks like we found our punt returner. I am extremely excited over this trio. Bring on footssball and lets get this party started... Weemu agrees.

1 points
1
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greengold's picture

May 04, 2022 at 05:45 am

There’s a lot to like with all three WRs Gutekunst added to this Packers roster. Remarkable talent infusion.

That’s one helluva log jam at the position:
Lazard
Watkins
Winfree
Cobb
Watson
Doubs
Toure
Rodgers
& more…

Should be fun to see after they take the training wheels off this very fast bike. Seems this is our group with a vet or two stashed on IR/PUP when that time comes. Gutekunst has kept 7 WRs before, if I’m not mistaken.

0 points
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BirdDogUni's picture

May 03, 2022 at 06:40 pm

Christian Watson is a rookie, I get it. Expectations should be high for the player he will become, because he's the most talented WR we've drafted in twenty years. (Bar-none!)

While I fully expect CW to be a full-on stud, he will have growing pains along the way and needs to put in the work. I do think he'll end up being the best WR in this draft, because he's arguably the most talented.

Looking forward to seeing the whole draft class grow into their roles.

GPG!

2 points
2
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NoNonsense's picture

May 04, 2022 at 01:47 am

Before I gush let me just start by saying forget the small school, lesser competition angle it simply doesn't fly. Some of the NFLs best WRs came from small schools. Jerry Rice, Mississippi Valley State, Randy Moss, Marshall, Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech. Terrell Owens, Chattanooga, Antonio Brown, Central Michigan, Davante Adams, Fresno State and the list goes on and on.

The only thing this guy needs to be a big time player is opportunity. If LaFleur and Rodgers just throw caution to the wind and put him on the field. If they can lean on what he already does well while he works on the rest of his game, Watson will have a big year.

Opportunity was the thing that was missing at NDSU. He absolutely dominated his competition yet he was only targeted 120 times in 4 years. He caught 104 of those for 2140 yrds. Look at that for a second, he's being credited with 16 drops in his career, is it possible that he had his hands on 100 percent of all of his targets and really dropped all the incomplete passes thrown to him? That's crazy.

I know people think Rodgers hates rookies and that all the good receivers Rodgers had like Adams and Jordy all took time to develop but most of these guys had very good players in front of them early on so they all had limited opportunities to make an impact even if they were capable of making a bigger impact earlier than they did.

There should be no such barrier in 2022. Lazard Cobb and Watkins and hopefully Rodgers will all get their snaps but there should be no reason to not play the rookies immediately and see what they can do. Watson especially, with his blocking prowess, there's not a single reason not to have him on the field for just about every snap as one of the starting receivers unless he needs a breather. His size agility strength and speed make him a guy the defense will always have to account for.

The biggest difference between MVS and Watson is explosion. Watson had a 38.5 inch vertical and 136 inch broad jump compared to 30.5 and 124 inches for MVS. Watson had a faster 10 and 20 yrd split as well as a slightly better 40.

In his rookie season MVS was targeted 73 times, he caught 38 of those targets and had 2 carries for a total of 610 yrds. If Watson gets 73 targets as a rookie he may well go over 1000 yrds and might be a rookie of the year candidate.

He was the 2nd pick of the 2nd round in the 2022 draft and they spent 2 picks on him. There is some synergy in all that.

2 points
2
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greengold's picture

May 04, 2022 at 06:09 am

NoNo, I am right with you. TC this year? It’s gonna be bananas. I can’t wait for the beat reporter reactions, and to be standing along that fence, myself, taking it all in. I haven’t been this stoked to drive up for practice since the Jordy Nelson days.

Watching Jordy practice was insanely fun. He’d turn on the jets and do some of the wildest stuff, hootin’ & hollerin’ - a lot of “Woooo!” stuff - ALL FROM HIM! Jordy just loved it that much, and it was amazing seeing him have fun, practicing. He’d be busting moves, juking, cutting, accelerating (kind of like showing off what a fast, nimble car he was), making great catches, and would literally be whooping it up, laughing, WHILE HE’S DOING IT!!!

Come to think of it, I’ve never seen a player have more fun in practice.

Aaron Rodgers is going to really like playing with these guys. Talk about a game changer…

0 points
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Starrbrite's picture

May 04, 2022 at 06:48 am

Dan—Javon Walker is exactly the person I compared to Watson. I posted it immediately after we drafted him. IMO the MVS—Watson comps are not legit.

0 points
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Philarod's picture

May 04, 2022 at 08:55 am

I'm about as big an Aaron Rodgers fan as there is around here, and my hope is that he embraces this new post-Davante Adams world. I can't add anything about Watson; I'm not that big a college football fan and not a draftnik. Not enough time to sink into it, and something has to give timewise.

But - just off impression - Watson seems to have a lot going for him. And a lot of his development will also be on Rodgers. Did he embrace this pick, and other moves by Gutey? Will he be patient with the newer guys? I am hoping that CW becomes the best of Lazard and MVS (okay, neither of them are that good individually) wrapped into one. Will that happen in the coming year? Doubtful. Down the road? Maybe. Productive this coming year? Why not.

2 points
2
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MooPack's picture

May 04, 2022 at 02:35 pm

I believe Rodgers not only embraced it, from the sounds of this article had involvement in his selection. The receiver that he wanted all along? Very possible. Father says so. I understand he or the organization wouldn't say otherwise, but has Aaron texted a draftee right away like that? Don't recall.

I wasn't able to link the article because of anti-spam rules of more than one link from same source in a thread. Just google this. It's from SI.
aaron-rodgers-texted-christian-watson

1 points
1
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greengold's picture

May 04, 2022 at 03:10 pm

Moo! That is awesome! Watching that video: One proud poppa right there. And Christian at the end, like a big kid who barely fits through the patio doors saying “Thank you,” uh… ridiculous coolness.

With Aaron Rodgers doing that? Hell yeahs this party gonna be LIT!!!

Just really special stuff all around. Lives changing on Draft Day. Wait for it…

1 points
1
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SnakePigskin's picture

May 04, 2022 at 10:31 pm

1. Janis had a coach we sent, uh, packing. Anyone with speed can take the top off coverage. With all the receiving records Janis had, pretty sure he could catch certain types of passes. More than enough if you have brains enough to use him that way. When a black DB high draft pick from PAC 10 says you are the fastest guy he has ever seen, you are fast.
2. MLF has new plans for new offense, demanding speed, not exactly morse code for ‘we are looking for another Devonte’. Everything will be different, including the D, and as we all hope, the STs.

0 points
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