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2024 NFL Draft

Ryan Watts Declares Steelers Got a Pissed Off Player



Pittsburgh Steelers CB Ryan Watts

Pittsburgh Steelers’ sixth-round selection Ryan Watts has a chip on his shoulder after being a late round selection. In a video posted on his Instagram, Watts revealed that he told Mike Tomlin after getting drafted that the Steelers got a pissed off player.

“I’m ready to go right now, Coach,” Watts said in the video. “You got a pissed off player.”

At one point, Watts asked someone at his draft party to call his cell phone, so he could make sure it was working. The long wait is something that Watts won’t forget.

“The wait went long, but man, I’m thankful, bro,” Watts said. “They said I made it, but I ain’t made it yet.

“I still got a lot more. I ain’t made it yet.”

Watts also gave a shoutout to Texas and let Steelers Nation know that they’re going to get his all.

“Steelers Nation, I want y’all to know you’re going to get the best out of me everyday, and I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity. Everyday I’m gonna be putting the odds to rest, believe that. UT Nation, thank y’all for everything. Thank you for accepting me for open arms and supporting me throughout this journey. And I’m gonna continue to put on for UT.”

Watts is a huge 6-foot-3 cornerback but has some versatility and might have to kick to safety. He ran a 4.53 40-yard dash while jumping out of the gym with a 40.5-inch vertical, 10-foot-5-inch broad jump, 4.13 short shuttle, and 6.82 3-cone drills. Watts worked at the Shrine Bowl and around the formation, including outside cornerback, slot cornerback, and safety. He could work at single-high in some packages, but his versatility and natural athleticism will be the allure of someone like Watts.

But in reality, Watts is just happy to play in a place that he referred to as ‘football heaven’ in a release from the University of Texas.

“It’s amazing to be picked by one of those ‘football heaven’ teams. Playing for the gold and black, it’s really a blessing with all the defensive players and defensive backs they’ve had in their history,” Watts said. “That history is incredible, and I’m blessed to be a part of the organization.”

He said the Steelers loved his versatility and ability to play all around the secondary, from outside cornerback to slot cornerback to safety. That is the type of player he can be in the right spot. But right away, it’s better to let him stay in one spot, specifically with his long arms, so they might prefer him sticking outside. But he is a bit stiff and can be a hazard in man coverage against smaller receivers. Watts could slot him in as a quality tight-end eraser if he develops well.

Where will this pick really be felt? Special teams. With his length and physical tools under the new special teams rules, Watts will be a special teams demon and will play on that unit heavily in the early part of the process. The new rules forced teams to look deeper into what body types they would like, but guys with the physical traits of Watts combined with his athleticism and know-how of special teams will earn him a place on the roster in this era of kickoffs and punt coverage.