Chief’s Jaylen Watson filled in for fellow rookie Trent McDuffie, who was placed on injured reserve this week with a hamstring injury.
Jaylen Watson : Chiefs | 40 Time | NFL draft | Injury
Jaylen Watson (born September 17, 1998) is an American football cornerback for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League (NFL).
|September 17, 1998
|6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
|197 lb (89 kg)
|Laney (Augusta, Georgia)
|2022 / Round: 7 / Pick: 243
He played college football at Ventura College before transferring to Washington State.
Watson began his college career at Ventura College. As a sophomore, he recorded 43 tackles with 13 pass breakups, four interceptions, and one fumble recovery.
Watson initially committed to transfer to USC, but did not enroll at the school and did not play in 2019. Watson later decommitted and signed to transfer to play at Washington State.
Jaylen became an immediate starter at cornerback for the Washington State Cougars and was named honorable mention All-Pac-12 Conference after recording 13 tackles, two passes broken up, a forced fumble and one recovered fumble in three games during the team’s COVID-19-shortened 2020 season.
Jaylen Watson Chiefs
Again, the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers played to a one-score game. This time, it was decided by a rookie seventh-round draft pick.
Jaylen Watson filled in for fellow rookie Trent McDuffie, who was placed on injured reserve this week with a hamstring injury.
The Chargers tested the young cornerback. In the fourth quarter, he made the play of the game.
Watson stepped in front of tight end Gerald Everett to intercept a Justin Herbert pass at the 1-yard line and sped down the field for the 99-yard touchdown to break a 17-17 tie. The touchdown helped the Chiefs seal the 27-24 win.
“It was a moment I’ll never forget,” Watson said in his postgame news conference. “It’s a surreal feeling. I’m so grateful and blessed to be in this position.”
All of the talk before the game was about Patrick Mahomes and Herbert battling each other, but the Chiefs and Chargers defense continued to stall the two quarterbacks. In a tight ball game, the Chiefs came out on top.
Jaylen Watson runs official 4.51-second 40-yard dash at 2022 combine.
Watson said with a smile the biggest thing he wanted to prove to scouts on Monday was that he could run faster than a 4.51 in the 40. Mission accomplished, as Watson unofficially clocked a 4.48.
“I didn’t jump at the combine,” Watson said. “Only thing I did was the 40-yard dash and the DB drills. And I wanted to improve my 40, I wasn’t happy with a 4.51. So that was the biggest reason why (I participated again).”
“They like my physicality and speed,” Watson said. “Interviews went pretty well, they were surprised I knew so much. A lot of teams from zone to man are looking at me. I like playing man, but I’d be willing to play anything at this level.”
The Chargers never recovered. Watson is quickly developing into a late-round draft find for the Chiefs.
The No. 243 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, Watson was catapulted into a starring spot in place of fellow rookie Trent McDuffie, who was placed on IR earlier this week. Watson had big shoes to fill against a high-octane passing offense.
McDuffie saw zero targets on 21 coverage snaps and allowed zero receiving yards in his NFL debut versus the Arizona Cardinals last week, per Pro Football Focus.
Chargers offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi targeted Watson, who was often lined up in coverage across Chargers receiver Mike Williams. It was an understandable strategy given Watson’s inexperience.
Williams enjoyed a fruitful night, totaling a team-high eight receptions for 113 yards and a one-handed touchdown. Watson kept battling and eventually swung the pendulum in Kansas City’s favor.
Jaylen Watson injury
Jaylen Watson finally put the Chiefs ahead after the Chargers (1-1), answering Matt Ammendola‘s tying field goal, marched to the Kansas City three-yard line.
Justin Herbert was eyeing tight end Gerald Everett when Watson, a seventh-round pick making his first start, stepped in front of the pass with 10:29 to go and ran nearly untouched the other way to the end zone.
Watson had to take a break from his college football career and worked in a Wendy’s while getting back on a track that would eventually lead him to the NFL.
Things became worse for the Chargers two series after the pick-six when Herbert was drilled by Mike Danna delivering a throw.
He left the field clutching his side, returned one play later, then threw an incompletion that forced the Chargers to punt.
Chargers head coach Brandon Staley said after the game he doesn’t expect Herbert’s injury to be a problem going forward.