In the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft the Vikings selected Arkansas LB Armon Watts.
Heading into his senior year, Watts had yet to make much of an impact with the Razorbacks. The three-star recruit from St. Louis red-shirted his first year in Fayetteville and played in 11 games as a reserve in 2015 (two tackles). He spent most of the next two years watching from the sideline, however. Watts played in just one contest in 2016 (one assisted tackle) and five games off the bunch in 2017 (four tackles). He finally earned a starting role in 2018, beginning 11 of 12 games played, and wound up leading the squad with seven sacks among his 49 tackles, 8.5 for loss. He also tied for the team lead with three forced fumbles.
Ascending interior defender who committed himself to the work and took the coaching and went from a lightly-used backup to the center stage his senior season. He is an efficient, downhill rusher with the power and hand usage to pry open opportunities for pressures and sacks. His recognition and response in the run game is behind, but his ability to anchor against double teams and defeat single blocks is NFL-caliber. Watts's size, strength and play traits should allow him consideration in both odd and even fronts as a future starter.
- Versatility to play up and down the line
- Good toughness for life inside
- Pop and discard for the quick win
- Impressive punch, extend, peek and shed as 2-gapper
- Flashes bend and plugger power for nose reps
- Posted good tape against Alabama
- Shows variance to rush attack
- Long upfield rush strides force guards into deeper sets
- Developed booming punch and two-hand swipe as rush weapons
- Accurate hands to snatch and displace blocker's wrist
- Has leg drive to churn through the edge and press the pocket
- Bends and corners to constrict passer's launch point
- Lacks game experience as a four-year player
- Tardy getting off the snap and up the field
- Inconsistent initial steps to battle move blocks
- Needs better feel for run play development
- Runs himself behind wall-off blocks
- Drops head and loses track of the ball at times
- Better focus on keeping his pad level right
- Feasted off of lambs for much of his sack production
- Edge-to-edge rush attack lacks suddenness