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Penn WR Justin Watson: 'I'm Just A Good Fit' For Ravens

April 24, 2018
Former University of Pennsylvania wide receiver Justin Watson visited the Baltimore Ravens in late March and has a long-standing relationship with Ravens wide receivers coach Bobby Engram, Watson told Glenn Clark Radio April 12.

Watson first met Engram when he was a senior at a Pittsburgh-area high school. Watson attended a camp at the University of Pittsburgh, and Engram, as the receivers coach for Pitt from 2012-13, was at the camp, as well. Watson also had a chance to work with Engram at the East-West Shrine Game in January; Watson was a receiver for the East team, while Engram was the offensive coordinator. And the pair met again during Watson's visit to Owings Mills, Md.

"[The Ravens] were one of the teams that were interested in me early," Watson said. "I think it especially helped me getting to work with Bobby all week [at the East-West Shrine Game]. He was able to break down my whole film and saw how I progressed throughout the week, even just with his coaching at the East-West Shrine Game. 

"I think I'm just a good fit. When you go in the building, everywhere around it says, 'Play like a Raven.' When you talk about that, it's just a hard-nosed, gritty guy and the guy that's got a chip on his shoulder and likes to go in there and hit people. And I think that that's something that I really fit. I fit the Ravens' style of play, and I think I'd love to go to Baltimore and show that I can play like a Raven."

The 6-foot-3 Watson played for Penn from 2014-17 and is littered all over the Quakers' record books. He's No. 1 in career receptions (286), receiving yards (3,777), receiving touchdowns (33) and all-purpose yards (4,116). He's also holds the school's single-season records for receptions (89 in 2016), receiving yards (1,115 in 2016) and receiving touchdowns (14 in 2017). 

In addition to the East-West Shrine Game, Watson was invited to the Senior Bowl, where he had a 34-yard catch. However, Watson wasn't invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, so he had to show off at Penn's pro day instead. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.42 seconds, recorded a vertical jump of 40 inches and had a broad jump of 124 inches -- all big-time marks.

Watson is projected to go in the fourth or fifth round by NFL.com draft writer Lance Zierlein

"I was really hoping for that Combine invite ... especially [as] a guy coming out of the Ivy League," Watson said. "Penn hasn't had a lot of guys perform at the Combine, and I didn't get it. But I think it just added to that chip on my shoulder. I already have a chip being an Ivy League guy and a I-AA guy and a guy that's a bit overlooked. But I think not being invited to the Combine and having to do it at pro day, I think just added to that chip a little bit more."

Watson said he can play as heavy as 225 pounds, but he's 215 pounds right now. Watson said his size and speed make him a matchup problem in the slot; he's too big for a typical nickelback to handle, but too fast for an outside linebacker if the defense chooses to treat him like a tight end. 

Watson compares himself to long-time San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Vincent Jackson and former Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin. Boldin played for Baltimore from 2010-12, catching 186 balls for 2,645 and winning a Super Bowl ring.

Watson discussed Boldin's game with the Ravens during his visit in late March.

"When I was talking to different guys in the Ravens' building, they said at the top of [Boldin's] routes, it was an adjustment for [quarterback] Joe Flacco because Flacco would say, 'He's not open,' and they would say, 'Just throw the ball in his direction and he'll get open,'" Watson said. "And using his body and his strength, he was always able to put himself between the defender and the football and make catches that way, so that's something I think both of those guys do really well. Something that I do especially well is when the ball's in the air, I use my body and fight for position and come down with the ball."

To hear more from Watson about growing up a Pittsburgh Steelers fan and possibly being drafted by the Ravens, listen here:



Photo Credit: Courtesy of Penn Athletics