A staple of the football purist's love of the game, they wear many hats for a football team. They're lead blockers, pass protectors, pass catchers and they play on almost every special teams unit.
A good fullback can be an extremely valuable asset to a team. However, they're becoming used less seemingly every season in the NFL. With the emphasis on scoring and increased offense, it's become more advantageous to throw the ball than to run it; thus, the dying of the fullback position. There are still teams that use them pretty regularly: Baltimore, Tennessee, Green Bay, Minnesota and Buffalo, to name a few.
Due to this shortage of need at the position, it helps to be able to contribute elsewhere, and Derek Watt can do that. Jeff Risdon of ESPN 961 in Michigan, also a senior draft analyst for Draft Breakdown, was down at the East-West Shrine Game this off-season, where Watt participated along with Joel Stave, Tyler Marz and Michael Caputo. Risdon had this to say about Watt:
Derek Watt now long snapping. And he's great at it. Legit great.— Jeff Risdon (@JeffRisdon) January 20, 2016
Simply put, the more things that you can do, the tougher it is for NFL teams to cut you.
Derek Watt, FB/TE/LS
40-yard dash: 4.69
Vertical jump: 33.5"
Broad jump: 9'8"
Pro agility: 4.19
3-cone drill: N/A
Bench press: 19
Strengths: Lunch-pail guy. Switched positions during collegiate career, showed strong work ethic to make switch and excel at new position. Above-average athletic ability for the position. Adequate size for the position. Experience running the ball. Catches the ball well out of the backfield, using his hands rather than his chest. Solid lead blocker, blocked for two thousand-yard rushers during his college career. Showed knowledge and understanding of pass protection. Uses good angles while lead blocking. Provides positional versatility, played tight end in Shrine Game.
Weaknesses: Lacks growth potential at the next level. Has maxed out his frame. Lacks ideal height for tight end. Doesn't kill people in the run game, more of a cover up blocker. Won't threaten defenses as a receiver.
Overall: Younger brother of JJ Watt. He's a solid football player. Jack of all trades, master of none. High-character kid. Watt is rarely, if ever, a liability on the field in nearly any situation. He's a great example of Wisconsin's ability to develop its players throughout the entirety of their time in Madison. Will be seen by most teams as a fullback. Can also long snap, will help keep him in a camp. Arguably the best fullback in the class, should stick on a roster.
Projection: 7th round-undrafted