DT Armon Watts, Arkansas

6’5” – 300 lbs. – 5.23

Redshirted, then played very sparingly over the subsequent three seasons. Stepped into the starting lineup and broke out as a senior, going 49-8.5-7.0 with three forced fumbles to conclude his career. Tall for a defensive tackle, with solid bulk and length (arms measuring just under 33.5” at the Combine). Lined up as Arkansas’ left defensive tackle this past year, basically a three-technique. At his most impressive when he’s attacking gaps or slanting. Has pretty good if inconsistent reaction times to the ball being snapped, sometimes being the first player off the line. Despite his height, is able to get out of his stance low and compete for the advantage in leverage. Flashes the ability to get a jump on the snap count and use a swim move to get into the backfield and create disruption. Can get skinny and knife through gaps with a rip, too. Gives solid effort in pursuit and possesses the athleticism to scrape down the line; however, isn’t really the type to get out and make tackles near the boundaries in the screen game or on outside rushing attempts. Has an adequate burst to close and a wide tackling radius; can make stops while engaged. Flashes the ability to read-and-react as more of a two-gap player, too; gets good extension with his arms and has pretty good lower body strength to dig in at the line of scrimmage. Could stand to improve his awareness of the ballcarrier; will sometimes lose track of the ball or get too aggressive and take himself out of position to make a tackle on the play. Can sometimes parlay his initial burst into push with the bull rush, but tends to rely more on his activity than on physically overwhelming opponents with brute force; rarely resets the line of scrimmage in the run game. For a one-year starter, plays with good leverage, arm extension, and active hands; those traits allowed him to put together some impressive snaps this past season, although in order to take the next step as a defender he will need to improve the consistency of his get-off at the line of scrimmage and be more patient/aware when flowing toward the ball in the run game. A player with his size and upside could interest teams looking to add a developmental candidate to their defensive line rotation on the draft’s third day.

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