How did Mississippi State Football Linebacker Nathaniel Watson Perform at the 2024 NFL Combine?

Former Mississippi State Football linebacker Nathaniel Watson participated at the 2024 NFL Combine. How did he perform in drills?

Nov 11, 2023; College Station, Texas, USA; Texas A&M Aggies tight end Jaden Platt (6) and
Nov 11, 2023; College Station, Texas, USA; Texas A&M Aggies tight end Jaden Platt (6) and / Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 NFL Combine is taking place, and four former Mississippi State football players were invited to showcase their talents. Among those four was Bulldog linebacker Nathaniel "Bookie" Watson. Watson started 39 games in his Mississippi State career, racking up 379 tackles and 21 sacks, both 7th all-time in MSU history.

Bookie's best season was his final one. In 2023, he led the SEC in tackles with 137 and was tied for the conference lead in sacks with 10. He earned First Team All-SEC honors, Third Team All-American honors, and was the AP SEC Defensive Player of the Year, and was a finalist for the Butkus Award. It was a stellar end to a fantastic career.

Now, Watson is looking to make it to the next level. He participated in the Senior Bowl in early February and was invited the the 2024 NFL Combine. On Thursday, Watson tested alongside fellow linebackers in drills. How did he do?

Nathaniel Watson NFL Combine Results

Here were Nathaniel Watson's key measurements at the NFL Combine:

  • Height: 6'2"
  • Weight: 233 lbs
  • Arm Length: 32 7/8"
  • Hand Size: 9 7/8"

Watson ran an official 4.63 40-yard dash. That was tied for eight amongst linebackers. NC State linebacker Payton Wilson led the position with a 4.43.

Bookie recorded a vertical jump of 31.00". That was fifteenth amongst linebackers, and Washington's Edefaun Ulofoshio led the position with a 39.50". Watson's broad jump was tied for 15th in his position at 9'3". Ulofoshio again led all linebackers with a 10'8".

Nathaniel Watson Relative Athletic Score

Something that comes up a lot during NFL Draft season is a player's Relative Athletic Score or "RAS". RAS is a rating system used to contextualize the positives and negatives of a player's athletic traits relative to their position on a 0-10 scale. It's not a perfect representation of how good or bad a player may be, but at the very least, it can create a good idea of a player's potential based on their athleticism.

So how did Nathaniel Watson grade out?

Nathaniel Watson recorded a RAS of 6.88. Watson did not participate in agility testing or the bench press, so his RAS doesn't necessarily paint the picture of his overall athleticism as a linebacker prospect. Watson is graded out has having great speed and good size but lack explosiveness. All together, he's seen as having slightly above average athleticism for a linebacker. Payton Wilson led all qualifying linebackers with a RAS of 9.81.

Nathaniel Watson NFL Combine Performance

Overall, Nathaniel Watson had a solid showing at the 2024 NFL Combine. He displayed enough athleticism to show he can make it at the next level, and as we all know, his college production was off the charts. Watson is most likely a Day 3 pick in the NFL Draft.