Menelik Watson gets his big chance to prove his worth Saturday!
Oakland Raiders 2013 2nd-round pick Menelik Watson grew up rough in Manchester, England. Looking for sports to get him out of poverty, he started with soccer early in his life. But as the 6’5″, 315-pounder grew, he moved on to basketball, realizing soccer wasn’t going to work out.
Watson then joined a traveling basketball team in Spain and was named a team captain. That would lead to him earning a basketball scholarship at Marist. And when things didn’t look so promising there, he he became an amature boxer.
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Then once he saw the Florida State Seminoles play football, Watson fell in love with football. So he went to Saddleback Junior College with fellow NFL O-lineman Kyle Long for a couple of years. And from there he ended up at Florida State, where he wanted to be.
In 2012, Watson won the Seminoles right tackle job, starting 12 of 13 games, allowing just one sack. He then entered the 2013 NFL Draft in order to help support his family. GM Reggie McKenzie then drafted him as a project that only played three years of football.
Watson’s size, athleticism and meanstreak could make him a hit at the left or right tackle position. But the Raiders don’t know what they have yet because he’s been injured a lot. His latest injury is a pulled groin but he’s been back a few games at right tackle.
But with Donald Penn out with a knee injury, Watson gets his shot to play left tackle. Remember, his rookie contract is up after this year so he can become an attractive free agent. At the very least, the Raiders will have to pay to keep him.
So the Raiders have more than one interesting storyline to keep up with against the Houston Texans. Quarterback Connor Cook gets his chance to prove himself and get the Raiders a 1st-round pick. And meanwhile, Watson gets his chance to make big money this offseason.
He would also be a feather in the cap for the Raiders 2013 draft!