- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
The 2022 NFL Draft was only a little over a week ago, and already, the newest members of the league are getting to work for their perspective teams. The Kansas City Chiefs added multiple rookies to their club after the draft and have already completed their rookie minicamp.
One of the many interesting defensive selections by the Chiefs was Washington State CB Jaylen Watson. The seventh-round pick comes to Kansas City with plenty of upside and much to prove. The wait to hear his name called was tough for Watson, as he discussed during Sunday’s press conference.
“It was so nerve-racking,” Watson said. “Me personally, I wasn’t expecting to go that late, so I was kind of down. Everyone was telling me, ‘Stay off your phone,’ because I’m looking at every draft pick on day three because I knew I was going to be a day three guy. Everyone just kept aggravating me, and they were irritating. They didn’t understand what was going through my head, so I separated myself from the family, me and one of my close friends went out to my car and we were just listening to music. I had already seen Kansas City had got two corners, and I really wanted to go to Kansas City, so I was like, ‘Man.’ Then the call, I saw the Kansas City area code, me and my friend looked at each other, our eyes got super big, and they said, ‘This is the Chiefs,’ and I was just so excited I just started running full speed down the street. Everyone in the house saw me, and they were like, ‘What’s wrong, what’s wrong, who is it?’ I was like, ‘It’s the Chiefs!’”
Why did Watson want to end up in Kansas City so badly? He took a top-30 visit with the team, and the process wasn’t just about him selling himself to the coaching staff. That process made him realize that the Chiefs were the best possible situation for him.
“It went great,” Watson said. “I talked to Coach (Steve Spagnuolo), I talked to Coach (Dave) Merritt. They just wanted to see how much I knew IQ-wise and how much I knew about football. It was great. Once I left, I knew this was where I wanted to be.”
The other two corners drafted ahead of Watson were first-round pick Trent McDuffie and fourth-round pick Joshua Williams. In 2021, Watson posted 31 tackles, two interceptions, three pass breakups, and ranked second in the FBS with four fumble recoveries at Washington State. The impressive season still didn’t guarantee him a selection in the draft, but whether he was a first-round pick or seventh-rounder didn’t matter in the long run. Watson ended up exactly where he wanted to be.
“To be honest, figuring out where you’re gonna get drafted is like getting a March Madness bracket right,” said Watson. “You’ll never know. All the mock drafts you see, they might get top three picks right or five, but after that, especially go into the second and third day, you’ll never know. So, I was just praying, you know cuz like I said, I love winning. I was just praying the Chiefs got me, and it ended up happening.”
The hopes are high for Watson as he continues to assimilate into the NFL. The competition among the young cornerbacks will be fun to watch heading into training camp.