2019 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Tre Watson



NEPD Staff Contributor: Jeff Fidler

Tre Watson is a Illinois transfer now playing for Maryland. He is a physical, fiery player who you notice right away when he’s on the field. The type who just fly’s around the field making plays & getting it done. Not the biggest or fastest but someone who’s willing to take it to another level to make a play. Watson & his intensity will be welcomed with opened arms by a team & fan base who just lost Jermaine Carter, a player known for bringing that passion every snap. Watson has no shortage of heart & fight, it’s on display every time he’s out there. Not only does Watson bring the thump & tone setting attitude needed on the field but he also has a ++Football IQ & was nice enough to talk with me & share some it.

  1. Can you talk a little about your past to present? My college career has been unique in that I had three different head coaches in a 12 month span and am now going on my 4th in 5 years. With the staff changes and dealing with coaches who push their own agenda related to the roster, game plans, etc. I’ve had to work my way through and prove again and again that I’m a talented football player. I feel that I’ve done some great things and proven what I can do but look forward to this fall with a great team and coaches who actually support me where I can progress and contribute to a great season for my team.
  2. What is your height and weight, and what position do you see yourself playing in th NFL? 6’1 &7/8 so i go with 6’ 2. 236 lbs consistently right now and ILB/ OLB depending on the scheme. Off the ball is what I’ve played in college
  3. What are your best traits and how do they translate to the NFL? I feel that with the amount of defenses I’ve had to learn and playing under pro style coaches, my knowledge of defense is great and allows me to play at a high level so that translates as i know four or 5 teams that run the defense i ran the last two years. Also, the ability to command a defense and get guys lined up because that is all crucial before a play even starts. Once the play starts, what separates me is that I have the eyes needed to play without guessing and i pride myself on not only embracing contact but actually seeking to dish punishment out each and ever play. The biggest thing I’d like to work on is improving my explosiveness and ability to make splash plays. That is what separates good players from the great ones who start in Sunday’s is consistently making those big time plays. I have at times, but i must do so more often.
  4. In terms of the run game, can you talk a little bit about who you are looking at and why? Every Lb will tell you they have a pre snap key to read which depends on the call, the formation, motions, etc. but the basic key of any linebacker is the triangle which is the center to the near side tackle and back to the deepest back. That allows you to see the path of the RB, any pull, down blocks, or traps  Follow up, can you talk a little more about the triangle & how to attack it? If you’re reading your pre snap keys that will tell you where you need to be based on the play. If they pull and it’s a power play you have a certain fit in the defense whether it’s the force player, spill, or the cutback guy. If the guard blocks out then you know it’s some sort of iso or inside lead and you go from there based on the defensive call.
  5. The best QB’s can move defenders with their eyes. Post snap, what do you not to buy the fake and get caught? So that really depends on what defense your in, because in certain zone coverage the underneath defenders are matching routes based on the eyes of the qb so in those cases you’d want to follow his eyes. To your point, being the MOF player in cover 2, a LB has to drop through the middle with eyes back to the qb and read the vertical threats. You have to protect the middle and the only thing bringing you out of the middle is the qbs hands coming off the ball as he throws. Follow up, If you’re in Zone/Cover3? You will be either a hook flat or curl player based on alignment so your 10-12 yards usually and an underneath defender looking to let underneath routes pass to another zone and to match any wr who sits down closest to you. You have over the top help so there’s no need to carry routes down the field in your basic cover 3
  6. Who or what are your biggest off field influences? Both of my parents have been huge influences and for different reasons. My dad was an all American in college and played in the NFL so he was able to teach me how to play the game the right way from the very beginning. My mom has always been my number one fan and is someone who has my back no matter what. She also knows football better than 99% of women on earth and can be honest with me when it comes to what I’m doing
  7. What is your favorite TV show/music artist? My favorite artist is definitely Drake. He’s consistently putting out high quality music with ease. Favorite tv show is Naruto which expanded into the next show Boruto: I’ve watch over 600 episodes combined
  8. Do you model your game after anyone, and if so, why? I’ve always looked to play with my own style but there are two players who I can say I appreciate the way they play the game. Patrick Willis and Tyrann Mathieu are two guys who play with an absolute fearless attitude and can make the big play at any minute. Willis’ tenacity and Mathieu’s ability to change the game with one play are traits that i feel i carry over in my game.

    9)Where do you learn more, the film room or the football field? I feel that the film room is essential because it gives you the ability to critique yourself and see how the small details can change a play from being a big play for the offense to a 1 yard gain with technique or better execution. At this point in my career, i feel that practice is where i hone my game the most because i get to see every rep what works and what doesn’t. So now by the time practice is over, i already know what I’ll see on film with good plays and bad because I’ve corrected the mistakes i made in practice already and know what i need to do better.

    10)What is the biggest lesson you learned on the field and how did you use that moving forward? The biggest lesson i learned in college that I’ll carry with me forever is that you don’t know the impact you’re really having on someone else. That goes from my impact on others and what others did to impact myself. You don’t always know the difference you’re making until after the fact and getting the chance to talk with guys who genuinely appreciated what i was able to do for them as a teammate and a friend is remarkable. It’s something you cherish and lets you know you’re doing something right. At the same time, I’ve had coaches and other individuals y’all one way around me, but their actions told me a different story. This lets you know that not everyone is the same quality of character and that you have to really let people show what your worth is to them. It’s a tough lesson to learn and not one that feels great, but it has helped me grow nonetheless

    11)Who is the best player you faced and who you have played with? The best player i played against in a game goes to Quinton Flowers. The reason is I’ve never had a guy like that who i could not get a hit on. The way he moved and could avoid contact at any moment was remarkable and i respect him for that. I probably tackled him 6 times but none were impactful hits and that was because of him. Best I’ve played with is tough. I’ll go with Dawaune Smoot because i played with him in games, but from what I’ve seen in practice so far it might be Antoine Brooks. That dude is dynamite and i think he’ll have an incredible season.

    12)What are some of your short term and long term goals for this year? Short term: get in the best shape of my life and help my team put together the best season in a long time for the Terps. All big ten and academic all American can go with that too. Long term: prove to whoever is watching that I’m a clear cut NFL caliber talent and earn the respect of a team so that they’ll call my name on draft night 2019

    I want to thank & wish Tre the best going foward. He couldn’t have been nicer, I really mean that.

    Check out some of Watson’s highlights


2 Responses to “2019 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Tre Watson”

  1. Tazim Wajed says:

    Great article!

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