Christian Watson won’t fall to 49ers after insane NFL Combine

Christian Watson #WO35 of North Dakota State (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Christian Watson #WO35 of North Dakota State (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

There was a hope the 49ers might be able to pair Trey Lance with his former NDSU teammate, wide receiver Christian Watson, but not likely now after Watson’s NFL Scouting Combine.

North Dakota State wide receiver Christian Watson has swiftly become a 2022 NFL Draft crush for San Francisco 49ers fans.

Understandably so. The 6-foot-5, 208-pound receiver who spent three years with Niners quarterback Trey Lance at the collegiate level certainly impressed during this year’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, and that surely put him on teams’ radars if he wasn’t there already following a 2021 campaign that saw Watson record 43 receptions for 800 yards and seven touchdowns.

Those accolades, plus his Senior Bowl performance, probably pushed Watson squarely into Round 2 draft consideration, potentially meaning San Francisco (owning the No. 61 overall pick) might not have a shot outright at grabbing him late in the round.

Now, following Watson’s efforts at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine, it seems even less likely Watson will be available for the 49ers to grab, barring some sort of aggressive trade-up.

Christian Watson dazzles 49ers, other teams at NFL Combine

Watson confirmed he had met with the Niners in advance of his combine workouts, and it makes sense. San Francisco could afford to pair a big-bodied, speedy receiver with the likes of Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, plus capitalizing on the chemistry Watson already developed with Lance at the collegiate level.

Already a high-profile draft riser, Watson destroyed his NFL Combine workouts with impressive efforts in both the long jump and 40-yard dash:

It’s also not too common to see big-bodied receivers run below a 4.3 40-yard time, but that’s precisely what Watson did:

Pretty incredible.

49ers likely won’t have a shot at Christian Watson in NFL Draft

There might have been only a slim chance for the 49ers to land Christian Watson in the draft, provided he slipped towards the end of Round 2 and the Niners felt their first pick of the draft should fully be used on a wide receiver despite other substantial needs.

That doesn’t seem to be the case any longer, though, as Watson’s combine workouts likely just pushed him into first-round consideration.

Not in the top 15 picks, perhaps, but it wouldn’t be shocking whatsoever to see him go in the 20s.

Read More: 49ers must target this former Trey Lance teammate in 2022 draft

San Francisco can still cling to the slimmest of hopes Watson ends up slipping on draft day, which is always possible, and another possibility would be to engineer another trade (perhaps nowhere near as aggressive as the one for Lance) to get into range to grab Watson.

Possible, not likely.

If anything, 49ers fans may just have to look at Watson’s meteoric rise and wonder what could have been instead of actually having the ability of drafting him.

Good for Watson, though.

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