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2015 NFL DRAFT
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Nick Watkins, OLB

Height: 6-1 | Weight: 223 | College: Clemson
 
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Overview

Watkins was a very productive weak-side linebacker, accumulating 99, 116 and 118 tackles the past three seasons at Death Valley. Really grabbed the national spotlight in the Tigers' first game of 2007, racking up 13 tackles in a nationally televised upset win against Florida State on Labor Day. He also went though some tribulations during college, losing his brother David to a heart condition and then his family's home in New Orleans to Hurricane Katrina.

Analysis

Positives: Good straight-line speed, quickly closing on the ball and getting to ballcarriers in space. … Chases down the line and from sideline to sideline in order to get into the action. … Has the quickness to get into his drop and attack the flat. … Willing to fill a gap with his body and stay up to stop the run. … Effective on special teams units.

Negatives: Undersized. … Adequate at staving off blocks in the open field, but struggles in space because he does not change directions quickly or take great angles. … Not an explosive tackler. … Does not regularly make plays in the backfield, even though he constantly attacks the line of scrimmage, because of his lack of strength and containment discipline. … Mental discipline will be questioned by teams after he was academically ineligible for his team's bowl game this year.

2007 Season

Clemson senior linebacker Nick Watkins was Clemson's leading tackler against Wake Forest with 15 tackles. The senior from New Orleans, LA had 11 first hits and four assists to lead all tacklers. Watkins has led Clemson in tackles in six of the 12 games this season. He has had six double figure tackle games with his 15 tackles against Wake Forest serving as his season high. He now has 118 tackles for the season, 35 more than any other Tiger. It is no surprise that Watkins is the top tackler for the Tigers. He led Clemson in that category last year when he had 116 stops, including seven tackles for loss. The active linebacker also had three interceptions to tie for the team lead. For his career he now has 386 tackles, more than any other active Tiger. He now ranks 7th in Clemson history. He needs just four tackles in the bowl game to go ahead of Ed McDaniel and needs 14 to reach 400 for his career.

2006 Season

Clemson's leading tackler (116) … had 78 first hits to lead the team … had much to do with Clemson's top-25 national finish in four major defensive categories … had three interceptions, tied for the team-lead; quite an accomplishment for a linebacker; it was the most interceptions by a Tiger linebacker since in 2003; his three thefts included a 26-yard return for a score against Louisiana Tech … had five double-figure tackle games … had a team-tying-season-high 17 tackles against N.C. State and was named ACC Defensive Lineman-of-the-Week … had 10 tackles against South Carolina … a big key to Clemson's win at #9 Florida State when he had 11 stops … had 10 tackles at Wake Forest … 11th in the ACC in tackles per game … defensive player-of-the-game against Louisiana Tech and N.C. State according to the Clemson coaches.

2005 Season

Starting linebacker who had 99 tackles, second-most on the team … tied for the team lead in tackles (8) against Colorado … team's top special teams player by the coaches … had 13 tackles at Maryland; named ACC Specialist-of-the-Week when he had five special teams tackles; it happened soon after Hurricane Katrina ravaged his hometown of New Orleans … team's top special teams tackler (11) … defensive player-of-the-game by the coaches at Georgia Tech; he had 14 tackles, including 10 first hits … had at least six tackles in every game, the only Tiger to do so … had nine tackles at #19 South Carolina … had six tackles along with a sack against #16 Florida State … played 618 snaps on the season … had a team-high 14 tackles at Georgia Tech to tie for the high total by a Tiger all year … had six tackles against #17 Texas A&M, but tied for the team lead … played at least 43 snaps in every game.

2004 Season

Had 53 tackles, including 40 first hits … had at least one tackle in every game … received defensive rookie-of-the-year honors by the Tiger coaches … had a season-high eight stops in the win over Maryland; he also had two tackles for loss … seventh on the team in tackles (53), but it was the high total for a non-starter; his seven tackles for loss were also the high figure for a non-starter … had 10 of his 53 tackles on special teams; he tied for the team lead in special teams tackles … averaged a tackle every 6.04 snaps, best on the team.

2003 Season

Redshirted.

High School

Three-year starter at linebacker and team captain as a senior at Edna Karr Magnet School … all-district in 2001,02 … All-Westbank New Orleans from 2000-02 … All-Metro New Orleans in 2002 … 2002 Orleans/Jefferson Parish All-Star Game player who earned defensive MVP honors … coached by Don Wattigny … chose Clemson over Michigan State, Mississippi, Oklahoma State, and Tulane.

Personal

Born Oct. 8, 1985 … majoring in community recreation management.

 
 

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