(Editor's Note: While the start of the 2018 NFL Draft isn't until April 26, it's never too early to profile some of the key participants. The staff of DallasCowboys.com intends to preview the landscape of the draft's top prospect, with an emphasis on possible Cowboys draft picks – from the first round to the last. Today's featured player is Texas A&M's Armani Watts.)
- Name: Armani Watts
- Position: Safety
- College:Texas A&M
- Height/Weight:5-10 / 191
- Honors:First-team All-SEC, third-team AP All-American as a senior in 2017.
- Key Stat:In his 2015 sophomore season, Watts became the first Aggies defensive back in 12 years to reach 100 tackles, according to the A&M web site.
Where He's Projected:
Currently, most draft observers believe Watts will get selected somewhere in the middle rounds but could rise as high as Day 2 (Rounds 2-3). He's a four-year college starter and a former team captain – both impressive qualities in addition to his skill set.
How He Helps The Cowboys:
It'll be interesting how defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli and new secondary coach Kris Richard utilize their young defensive backs next season. Does 6-foot Byron Jones fit Richard's cornerback vision based on his history coaching bigger corners in Seattle? If Jones changes positions again, as has been speculated, perhaps the Cowboys would consider a free safety prospect like Watts in the draft. Watts showed good range and instincts in the competitive SEC conference and recorded a career-high four interceptions as a senior.
- Dane Brugler described Armani Watts correctly by calling him "A Sometimes Player." Sometimes you see brilliance and sometimes you don't.
- There is no question the talent is there. The range and physical finish clearly show up on tape but it's the other times where he takes a bad angle or completely whiffs that has you concerned.
- He's a streaky tackler and he will struggle when he really has to close ground.
- Watts needs to improve his anticipation but there are flashes of ball skills and the ability to stay off the receiver to avoid the flag.
- There is enough here to get you excited, but there are the questions whether he can really put everything together to be a consistent enough player down after down.