Texas A&M Football: Updated Armani Watts 2018 NFL Draft stock

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images /

Most NFL Draft experts have former Texas A&M safety Armani Watts being drafted in the first few rounds.

Armani Watts was a fan-favorite in his four years playing for Texas A&M football. It’s hard to forget his first signature moment when he intercepted South Carolina’s Dylan Thompson in the nationally televised 52-28 road win in 2014.

He never stopped making big plays.

Watts won the game for the Ags when they played Arkansas in 2017 when he intercepted a pass in the end zone in overtime. There is no questioning his nose for the football.

The senior safety was one of the lone bright spots on a defense that struggled overall in 2017, mostly due to the rest of his defensive back teammates being freshman and sophomores after injuries took their toll.

Most NFL Draft experts have Watts being drafted in the first few rounds, but where he eventually ends up is anyone’s guess. Here is what some experts are saying:

Draft Wire projection: Day 2

"“A four-year starter for the Aggies, Watts could have been a fairly early pick in last year’s draft, joining fellow A&M safety Justin Evans. Instead, he opted to return to College Station for another season, refining his already impressive skill set and improving his draft stock.”“A rangy playmaker with a nose for the ball, Watts has the instincts to sniff out run plays before they develop and bait opposing quarterbacks into making mistakes down the field. A deep safety class could make him a fantastic value if he’s still on the board in the middle rounds.”"

NFL.com projection: Rounds 2-3

"Watts is a feast or famine player whose biggest faults are often self-inflicted and not due to a lack of talent or athletic ability. He’s smooth and athletic and plays with the instincts and ball skills to flip the field on the next level. Watts’ success as a professional will likely depend on work ethic and consistency as a tackler."

Walter Football projection: Rounds 3-5

"Watts totaled 87 tackles with five passes broken up, four interceptions and two forced fumbles in 2017. He missed the Aggies’ bowl game with an injury. One of his picks was in overtime to beat Arkansas. Watts is an instinctive defender who is always around the ball and covers a lot of ground even though he lacks speed. He makes a lot of clutch plays.Watts has problems in man coverage, and that was exposed by UCLA tight end Caleb Wilson. In the open field, offensive players can run away from Watts, and sources say that lack of foot speed will likely be seen from him timing a slow 40."

Watts could really improve his draft stock if he runs a good 40 at this weekend’s NFL Combine or at Texas A&M’s Pro Day. The reservations most have about him center around his speed, or lack thereof. This isn’t something you would notice at the collegiate level but could be exposed by the incredible speed in the NFL.

Next: Ranking every Aggie QB in the NFL

Armani Watts has a place at the next level and should be taken high enough to have an impact for a team in his rookie season and beyond, so long as he cleans up some minor issues.

Jeff Shull is a Site Expert for the Gig Em Gazette on FanSided. Follow him on Twitter, and be sure to follow the Gig Em Gazette on Facebook and Twitter.