April 28, 2004

Courtney Watson - Linebacker - Notre Dame

#68 Overall Pick: Courtney Watson
Inside Linebacker - Notre Dame
6-1 - 238 pounds - 4.54 40

4.56 in the 40-yard dash … Bench presses 225 pounds 22 times … 365-pound bench press … 500-pound squat … 1.7 10-yard dash … 2.7 20-yard dash … 4.37 20-yard shuttle … 11.96 60-yard shuttle … 7.40 three-cone drill … 38-inch vertical jump … 10-foot-4 broad jump … 31½-inch arm length … 9¼-inch hands …

Watson is a big, strong, productive, smart inside linebacker from Notre Dame that is good against the run and has the lower body strength to shed blocks. Many scouts believe Watson has great awareness and has good cover skills. With the Saints, Watson will likely be experimented at both inside and outside linebacker.

The Saints didn't have a personal interview with Watson but Saints GM Mickey Loomis said that they spent a lot of time analyzing him this offseason.

In 2003 Watson led the Irish in tackles and in 2002 had four interceptions. He started at Notre Dame for three years. Twice in his collegiate career Watson was a finalist for the Butkus Award, given annually to college football's top linebacker.

Watson finished his career with 294 tackles (163 solos), 8½ sacks for minus-62 yards, 39 stops for losses of 151 yards, a fumble recovery, a forced fumble, eight pass deflections and seven interceptions for 202 yards in returns, including two touchdowns. He led Notre Dame in tackles in 2003 with 117 including 15 for a loss.

A native of Sarasota, Florida and a three-year starter at middle linebacker for Notre Dame, Watson was a two-time Butkus Award semi-finalist who earned first-team All-America honors in 2002. At Notre Dame, Watson graduated with a business management undergraduate degree in 2003 and remained with the football team while pursuing his graduate studies.

Well-spoken Watson didn't know beforehand we was being considered by the Saints. "I think my biggest advantage is my athleticism," Watson told the Saints media Saturday night. "I bring a lot of speed and quickness and agility to the position. I think I'm a very intelligent football player... I'm not the biggest linebacker but I try to use my instincts and my heart to my advantage."

NOPF News Archive