Posted: 7:44 am Monday, April 14th, 2014

Brandon Watts’ draft stock climbing 

By Ken Sugiura

Brandon Watts wasn’t generating much interest from the NFL. Funny what running a 4.4 will do.

After throwing down a blazing 40-yard dash at the Georgia Tech pro day, the former Yellow Jackets linebacker has been receiving phone calls from NFL teams and had two private workouts.

“I knew once I performed well, it was going to kind of get better,” Watts said Friday.

Since the pro day March 28, when he was timed in the 40 in the 4.4 range and even as low as 4.37 seconds, Watts has had private workouts with San Diego and New England, who sent coaches to run him through drills and test him in the video room. He has also had phone interviews with St. Louis, Baltimore, the Falcons and Miami. He also spoke with representatives of the New York Jets, New Orleans and Tennessee at the pro day. He said more teams have been in touch with his agent.

“It’s been looking really up since my pro day,” Watts said.

Photos: Georgia Tech Pro Day

Watts also had a personal best score of 10’3” in the broad jump and vertical jump (37.5 inches), both of which compared well with scores recorded by linebackers at the NFL draft combine. Watts trained in Florida, but returned to Tech to work with strength and conditioning coach John Sisk leading up to the pro day. He credited Sisk with helping him with his start on the 40.

His overall performance “wasn’t a big surprise,” Watts said. “Maybe my 40 a little bit. I thought I was going to run fast, but I didn’t know if I was going to run that fast.”

In the two workouts, coaches had Watts do position drills at the Tech indoor facility and then watched game video with him and had him explain his role in the Tech defense as well as the assignments of other players.

“It was pretty intense, but I do well at it,” Watts said. “I’m kind of a football nerd, so it kind of came easy to me.”

On phone interviews, Watts said, teams are trying to get to know his background as much or more than his football knowledge. For instance, he said he was asked about his girlfriend, how long they’ve been dating and what the most expensive date they’ve been on.

“Just weird stuff,” he said.

(Watts said he couldn’t recall his most expensive date.)

Watts, who earned his management degree in December, was productive in his two years as a starter, collecting 143 tackles in 26 games. He may be fit best as an outside linebacker in a 4-3, but his experience playing outside linebacker in a 3-4 showed his versatility.

With other former Tech players, he’ll attend a workout Tuesday being held by the Falcons for local players. The draft is pushed back a couple weeks this year, to May 8. In the meantime, Watts is continuing to work out and try to deal with the nerves and uncertainty of what will happen on draft weekend.

“I feel like it’s going to be worth the wait,” he said.

19 comments
alanwilliams
alanwilliams

It is very funny that all the experts cut down gts recruits, as 2stars or 3 stars, especially the "bulldrag nation". My question is, do they have any linebackers who can run sub 4.4 times? He will make a good one for anyone who takes him.

Jmonty
Jmonty

What do UGA fans and UGA football players have in common?  None of them have any class.

toddm22
toddm22

Fundamentals are a crutch for the talentless....

Yellerbug
Yellerbug

Good Luck BW!  With that kind of speed, he'll get drafted---play special teams, certain nickel packages, etc. right away.  It seems like his head is on straight too.

Anyone attend the scrimmage Sat and is willing to share their views on how it went?

JacketMan
JacketMan

If he doesn't get drafted, he'll definately get signed with a team, and will have a good shot as a special team player.

bigmacondawg
bigmacondawg

Shocker.  I didn't know Paul Johnson could recruit an athlete that could run that fast.

Go DAWGS.

GTRanj
GTRanj

Had a class with this guy, he was a stand-up dude. Never was late or missed any classes. Very soft spoken, and an animal on the field. Wishing you nothing but the best man!

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

It's good to see Brandon Watts getting an opportunity to show the scouts what he can do. 

I liked his comment about getting bizarre questions in his interviews.  One of the favorites I have had was what do I have set as the home page on my web browser - Google, of course.

BigTimeTECHFan
BigTimeTECHFan

Other news in regards to BB: Tech's getting a point guard transfer from Central Florida, Heath, son of coach Stan Heath. May be available next year.

juvenal
juvenal

WTG!  any wonderlic info, Ken?

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

No" Banning" running him down yet? Good luck Brandon!

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

That's awesome. 

As the old saying goes, "Technique and tackling can be taught, but speed can't."

gt51
gt51

Watts has played hurt most of his career as a starter.  He has looked bad at times with missed tackles, but when you have a shoulder injury it makes it hard to wrap up.  He seems healthy now.  I wish him luck.

POAD2013
POAD2013

Congrats and best wished Mr Watts.

HarveyPooka
HarveyPooka

Some players just need opportunity, and perhaps being in right place at right time to take advantage of opportunity, to shine by demonstrating hidden ability and talents.   Brandon Watts is an intelligent person, and being in correct position and making plays will help him have a very good career.

BigTimeTECHFan
BigTimeTECHFan

Awesome, I hope Watts gets drafted, he was great player for GT, my favorite of all the seniors this year.

I have to say I called it long before the Tech Pro Day, knew if NFL took time to review Watts tape ans skill set he would move up the draft board.

ToeMeetsLeather
ToeMeetsLeather

No, the real shocker is that Ugag's five stars are not fast enough to deposit a check and get to the bank before it clears. Those high school times were a "crime", if you know what I mean.