Connect with us

2024 NFL Draft

Steelers Sixth Round Pick Ryan Watts Excited to Play in ‘Football Heaven’

Pittsburgh Steelers sixth round pick, Ryan Watts, is blessed to join to Steelers, who he views as a ‘football heaven’ team.



Pittsburgh Steelers Ryan Watts

The Pittsburgh Steelers draft brass loves some athletes on day three, and Texas’ Ryan Watts is no exception to that rule. He is not only an elite athlete but could be classified as a freak show in the way he did test at the NFL Combine. However, how they view him and where he will play will determine how much stock to put into Watts early in his career.

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.