Jaylen Watson is a grown man when playing the Jaguars

The Chiefs struck gold when they drafted Jaylen Watson in the seventh round but he really comes to life when facing Jacksonville.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Kansas City Chiefs
Jacksonville Jaguars vs Kansas City Chiefs / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

The Kansas City Chiefs knew they had something special in cornerback Jaylen Watson as soon as his first summer spent with the team. However, something about the games played against the Jacksonville Jaguars really brings out his best.

As a seventh-round pick, Watson was a roster longshot who began working his way into the conversation of players who deserved to make the Chiefs' active roster with an impressive showing at every turn. A strong rookie minicamp turned into a surprising training camp which translated into pro-ready production in preseason games. By the time Week 1 rolled around, Watson was already the buzz of the secondary.

In the face of Trent McDuffie's delayed debut for the Chiefs due to a hamstring injury, Watson came on strong when needed and even helped the Chiefs win their second game of the year with a game-ending pick-six against the L.A. Chargers. In his first season with the team, he would make 6 starts, play in 16 games, deflect 6 passes, and make 49 total tackles. He'd go on to intercept two more passes in the postseason.

The Kansas City Chiefs struck gold when they drafted Jaylen Watson in the seventh round but he really comes to life when facing Jacksonville.

Overall, Watson enjoyed a tremendous rookie campaign with the Chiefs and was rewarded with a Super Bowl ring—a career achievement unlocked in his first season in the pros. It was an incredible foundation on which to build for Watson, and the Chiefs front office will be enjoying the benefits of his rookie deal for the next three seasons.

Back to the Jags, however, because somehow Watson saves his best highlights for games against Trevor Lawrence and company. Let's not forget the last postseason when the Chiefs hosted the Jags in the Divisional Round. Late in Week 11, Watson suffered a hand injury that he later disclosed was broken. Yet that didn't stop him from making this one-handed interception of Lawrence in a game with the highest stakes.

Yeah, that's a one-handed INT with the other hand broken for Watson—a career-defining turnover for most players. But just in case you thought Watson was just energized for the postseason, he came up big again in Week 2 against the Jags for the Chiefs in 2023. To be specific, he likely served up the single greatest defensive highlight on a day in which the entire unit was dominating the Jags. Here's Watson with the hit stick on Christian Kirk, making a critical tackle in a key one-on-one situation.

Not that the Chiefs needed to see any further highlights from Watson to get "get their money's worth." Even that game-winning pick-six one year ago in Week 2 was enough to justify the seventh-round pick but Watson continues to yield dividends. He's one of the Chiefs' best finds in the last several drafts, and there's likely plenty more evidence to come—especially if Jacksonville is on the list.