The Kansas City Chiefs continued their search for versatile defenders with the addition of former Texas A&M safety Armani Watts with their fourth-round pick (No. 124 overall).
Watts, who started 42 games for the Aggies over his four-year career, which included starting at free safety as a true freshman before sliding down to strong safety the last two years of his career, finished his time in College Station with 327 total tackles and an impressive 16 turnovers (10 interceptions, 6 forced fumbles).
He's a versatile athlete with plenty of big-game experience that has a knack for finding his way around the ball.
"It says a lot about the person, the player, the athlete," longtime Chiefs' area scout Willis Davis explained of Watts, who finished his career with more than 3,000 snaps played in the SEC. "The intelligence to come in as a freshman and start in the SEC, it says a lot about the kid and the character of the kid."
Watts was with his family in Texas when he got the call from the Chiefs and described himself as a "steal" in this draft.
"I would say game-changer, ball-hawk. I'm able to play anywhere," Watts, who admitted that he needs to improve his tackling—something that stood out with 55 missed tackles in his career—explained of his abilities to the local Kansas City media on a conference call soon after being selected.
"You really notice the instincts," Davis added of evaluating Watts. "He's not the biggest kid, but he's instinctive. He knows where to be and he knows where to put players."
Davis said the best games of Watts last year to watch to get an idea of what he brings to the table are against Louisiana-Lafayette, Mississippi State, and Auburn.
But for Davis, who has been scouting the Texas area for a while, the addition of Watts is bringing on a guy that he's noticed for a couple of years now.
"He was the one aligning this defense and telling people where to go," Davis recalled of watching Watts a couple of years ago when he was a sophomore while scouting other players. "[Watts] was the one directing traffic and putting people in the right position.
"He may not have the fastest 40-yard dash, but his instincts put him in positions where he doesn't have to be this 4.4 or 4.5 guy. He's getting to the ball because he understands route concepts. He understands if he doesn't have a man in his area, he can go help someone else."
That's a good reason Watts finished his career with so many game-changing plays with the 16 turnovers.
"He's a tough, tough kid," Davis added. "I think we got a really good football player…there's no doubt this kid will come in and compete for playing time and a starting spot."