'That's a huge jump'; Senior Bowl director says NDSU's Watson has leapt towards top of NFL Draft

Christian Watson was named wide receiver practice player of the week at Senior Bowl

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl
National squad wide receiver Christian Watson of North Dakota State (1) runs with the ball in the first half against the American squad Feb. 5, 2022, at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Ala.
Nathan Ray Seebeck / USA TODAY Sports
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Draft Day is finally here for Christian Watson.

The North Dakota State All-American wide receiver has done everything possible to open the eyes of NFL scouts and general managers.

Now as the Tom Petty song goes, "the waiting is the hardest part."

The question is; how long will Watson have to wait?

Jim Nagy, the executive director of the Senior Bowl doesn't believe it will be that long.


"I feel pretty confident about Christian going in the top fifty. And that's a huge jump for a guy we had pegged as a fourth or fifth round pick when the season started."

Nagy cited concerns about Watson's hands before the 2021 fall season began as a reason why Watson wasn't high on their boards.

Watson wowed the scouts and the Senior Bowl staff in early February. He was selected as the wide receiver practice player of the week during his time in Mobile, Alabama. It was the second straight year a Bison player earned practice player of the week, joining Dillon Radunz, the All-American left tackle, who was drafted by the Tennessee Titans last year.

Nagy added that he really likes the potential of North Dakota All-American left tackle Matt Waletzko.

Waletzko had a solid week at the Senior Bowl and currently is projected as a fourth or fifth round pick.

"Matt's best football is ahead of him. Has some great length and arms, he really helped himself when he came down here."

There was another Missouri Valley Football Conference All-American lineman in Mobile this year, Northern Iowa's Trevor Penning.

Penning has shot up the draft boards since the season ended, thanks to his performance at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine.


"Trevor is going to go in the mid-teens. Great player, that league (MVFC) continues to produce great players."

I asked Nagy if he has his eyes on any Bison players for the 2023 game and he said the Senior Bowl does.

"There's a fullback up there. (Hunter Luepke) What better place to find a fullback than Fargo, North Dakota."

Dom Izzo is the Sports Director at WDAY-TV. He began working for WDAY in 2006 as the weekend sports anchor and was promoted to Sports Director in 2010.
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