S Pat Watkins Profile
The immediate impact a player makes on his new team is a result of many factors: his talent, size and athleticism, the team’s need at his position, and the player’s ability to learn the scheme utilized by his new employers.
Of the players the Cowboys have drafted so far, it’s possible that the player who makes the quickest impact will be free safety Pat Watkins (6-4.5, 222,4.47).
Watkins is enormous for his position, and his greatest strength is exactly what Dallas secondary needs: he is a ballhawk who can play deep and use his great size and long arms to knock balls away.
Like all rookies however, he has some learning to do, particularly when he gets locked on a receiver in single coverage. But the tools are there to overcome that.
At Florida State, he played at times like an out-of-place linebacker, shooting toward the line of scrimmage on running plays are trying to deliver the highlight hits. It often worked, but he gambles more than Dallas coach Bill Parcells will like, a point his new boss will address immediately.
His style is effective, however: in 2005, Watkins had 77 tackles for the Seminoles, along with three interceptions and five tackles-for-loss.
If Watkins develops as many think he will, Keith Davis can go back to being a special teams ace and backup safety, which is how Parcells sees him, anyway.
Watkins still can add considerable strength and some more muscle, and if his ballhawking skills prove to be as good as advertised, he could make Roy Williams much more effective at strong safety by allowing Williams to creep forward more often to rush the quarterback and stuff the run, where he is most effective.