Laney’s Jaylen Watson’s road to the NFL Draft

Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 10:42 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The NFL Draft is always an exciting few days, but it’s even more exciting when we’ve got a local name in the mix. This year, Jaylen Watson hopes to be the next Augusta player to hear his name called in the draft.

Watson didn’t have a traditional path to the NFL Draft. He wasn’t a 5-star recruit. He didn’t pile up Power 5 offers out of high school. He trusted the process, just taking things one day at a time.

“That’s how I’ve always been, especially since all the obstacles I’ve overcome,” Watson said. “I just try to take advantage of my 24 hours each and every day.”

After high school, Watson went to junior college in California, before committing to Washington State. In both years with the Cougars, he was named All-Pac 12 Honorable Mention.

Now, he’s ready to join an elite group of Garden City players to make it to the NFL.

“It’s mainly for Augusta more than anything else,” he said. “This is what made me. Just showing the younger guys and everyone coming up that it’s possible.”

Watson works out at his old stomping grounds, Laney, whenever he’s back in town. He said he still keeps up with the football program and offers players advice whenever he can.

“Keep working. Follow the right crowd. Be a leader,” he said. “Don’t always be the smartest in the room or the most athletic or talented person you hang around. Get friends that are going to push you and bring out the best in you.”

Watson said it would be a dream to go to the Falcons, but he’ll be happy wherever he’s a good fit. He said with what he’s heard from teams, he’s expecting to go somewhere on Day 3 of the draft, maybe in the 4th or 5th round.

That would mean he hears his name called Saturday.

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