Armani Watts among NFL Draft’s best overall picks


While the Kansas City Chiefs made many surprise picks over the weekend, at least one draft analyst believes Armani Watts was one of the best picks.

For most of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs were busy subverting every widely circulated draft list for the sake of following their own draft board. Of course, that’s how it should be, since any team that would simply mimics what the Mel Kipers of the world tell them to do would not be doing their job. That said, sometimes a draft analyst’s list of best prospects and the movements of a team will sync up from time to time. This weekend for the Chiefs, that was rarely the case.

Through the first three rounds, the Chiefs were making under-the-radar selections to bolster the defense. Twice they traded up to grab guys who were “rated lower” on value boards to the talking heads on as they announced Breeland Speaks and Derrick Nnadi as the choices. Dorian O’Daniel was another unexpected name. In fact, even the positions addressed were unexpected.

Fast forward to the fourth round when the Chiefs finally selected a recognizable defensive back at a spot they needed: Texas A&M free safety Armani Watts.

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Given the release of Ron Parker earlier this offseason, the Chiefs have looked thin throughout the entire secondary. Thus the selection of Watts was a breath of fresh air for fans and analysts who finally saw the Chiefs taking a somewhat predictable route. The even better news was that it addressed a direct need with a strong value in the fourth round.

Looking back over the entire draft class, Elliot Harrison of listed Watts among his “best picks” from the entire weekend.

"Watts could qualify as a steal from this draft. Watts should compete for a starting job in training camp, and with Eric Berry returning from injury, he could be part of a transformation on coordinator Bob Sutton’s defense. Solid coaching should help him capitalize on immense athletic ability. Always respect four-year starters like Watts."

Watts brings youth to a position that was getting older while providing plenty of experience to be able to step right in. He had 324 total tackles in his career at A&M, including 87 last season (10 of them for a loss). He also had 4 interceptions, 5 passes defended, 3 forced fumbles and 2 recoveries. He forced 17 total turnovers over four seasons, which is a positive sign for a Chiefs team that thrives on getting their hands on the ball to force a takeaway.