The Jacksonville Jaguars have made another signing in NFL free agency, agreeing to terms with free agent linebacker Dekoda Watson according to a report by Jenna Laine of Sports Talk Florida. Watson was in town visiting with Gus Bradley on Tuesday evening and he closed out yet another signing.
Watson has spent the past four seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who originally selected him in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft. The 26-year old linebacker has been a rotational player for the Buccaneers, but has always seemed to have a knack for rushing the passer. It's possible the Jaguars view him as a SAM linebacker in their scheme, similar to the role that Bruce Irvin plays for the Seahawks.
Watson's a tremendous athlete and dominant special teamer who never quite found a role on defense. There have been some suggestions he struggled to learn the system, and his reactions on the field can be a bit slow. Still, he was pretty solid when he got a chance at extended playing time as a Sam linebacker last year.
Watson has also on occasion displayed some potential as a pass rusher, with his hand off or on the ground. He has tremendous burst and speed, and he flashes the ability to turn the corner and get to the quarterback, but he lacked a counter-move to go with his speed rush. I did see him execute a speed-to-power move effectively a couple of times, and if he can build on that he could actually turn into a quality situational pass-rusher. I could see him playing either Sam or (situational) Leo in your scheme, if the coaches can help him improve a little.
Watson is a super athletic linebacker who put up some pretty good numbers at the NFL Combine in 2010 at 240 pounds with a 4.56 40-yard dash, 40" vertical, 4.11 shuttle, 7.06 3-cone and 24 bench reps.