Menelik Watson
Watson with the Oakland Raiders
Offensive tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1988-12-22) 22 December 1988 (age 32)
Place of birth: Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Career information
College: Florida State
NFL Draft: 2013 / Round: 2 / Pick: 42
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* Oakland Raiders ( 2013 2016)
Career highlights and awards
*ACC Champion (2012)
Career NFL statistics as of 2018
Games played     34
Games started     24

Menelik Watson (born December 22, 1988) is an English professional American football offensive tackle who is currently a free agent. He was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played college football at Florida State.

Early life

Watson was born into a single-parent family of four brothers and a sister raised on the Anson Estate in Longsight, Greater Manchester, England; his mother, originally from Jamaica, worked as an office cleaner to support the family.[1]

At Burnage High School, he excelled at sport. However, he broke his right ankle in 2001 while playing football in the park, meaning that he could not progress in his hopes of playing for Manchester City. Advised by a doctor not to play any more sports, he eventually joined the school basketball team, where he was spotted in a local tournament by American coach Rob Orellana, who signed him up for the Canarias Basketball Academy based in the Canary Islands.[1]

College career

Watson played college basketball for Marist College, which he attended from 2009 to 2010.[2]

However, after it became clear that even at 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m) Watson was too short to play power forward,[1] Orellana transferred Watson to Saddleback College where he played American football for the first time.[1] Watson played right tackle, opposite of left tackle Kyle Long.[3] After a single year at Saddleback, he transferred to Florida State University,[4] where he started 12 of 13 games for the Florida State Seminoles football team during the 2012 season, allowing just one quarterback sack.[5]

After his 2012 season, Watson announced his decision to forego his senior season and enter the NFL Draft.[6]

Professional career

Pre-draft measureables
Ht WtArm lengthHand size 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 5 in 310 lb34 in10 3/8 in 5.29 s 5.01 s 8.31 s 24.5 in 8 ft 7 in

Oakland Raiders

Watson was drafted in the second round by the Oakland Raiders of the 2013 NFL Draft (42nd overall).[7]

Watson dressed for five games while starting for three of them in his rookie year.

On September 28, 2014, Watson was named Raiders' honorary captain for the International Series game against the Miami Dolphins, leading the Raiders out at Wembley Stadium.[8]

In December 2014, Watson donated his game check to a four-year-old Oakland Raiders fan with Hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which is estimated to be around $18,000.[9]

On August 30, 2015, Watson suffered a torn Achilles tendon during the third preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals.[10] On September 1, 2015, the Raiders placed Watson on injured reserve.[11]

Denver Broncos

On March 10, 2017, Watson signed a three-year contract with the Denver Broncos.[12] He started the first seven games at right tackle before suffering a calf injury and was placed on injured reserve on November 8, 2017.[13]

On August 20, 2018, Watson was placed on injured reserve with a pectoral injury.[14] He was released on September 8, 2018.

Personal life

Watson has a daughter Orellana—named in honour of his mentor Rob—who lives in Manchester with her mother.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Ian Shoesmith (April 25, 2013). "Menelik Watson swaps inner-city life for the big time". BBC Sport. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/american-football/21961331. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
  2. Tally-ho, Watson
  3. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nfl/news/20130405/2013-nfl-draft-menelik-watson/
  4. Former hoopster, boxer Menelik Watson a hidden gem for Florida St.
  5. Menelik Watson Bio – Florida State University Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Webarchive/data' not found.
  6. Menelik Watson's unlikely journey continues
  7. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named draft
  8. "NFL result, Oakland Raiders 14 Miami Dolphins 38: UK-born Menelik Watson's emotional return spoiled by Miami in London". The Telegraph. September 29, 2014. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/americanfootball/11127303/NFL-result-Oakland-Raiders-14-Miami-Dolphins-38-UK-born-Menelik-Watsons-emotional-return-spoiled-by-Miami-in-London.html.
  9. Florio, Mike (December 21, 2014). "Menelik Watson donates game check to four-year-old fan". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports. http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/12/21/menelik-watson-donates-game-check-to-four-year-old-fan/.
  10. Bergman, Jeremy (August 30, 2015). "Raiders' Menelik Watson ruptures Achilles tendon". National Football League. http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000518564/article/raiders-menelik-watson-ruptures-achilles-tendon. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  11. Durkin, Jimmy (September 1, 2015). "Raiders place Watson on injured reserve". Santa Cruz Sentinel. http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/sports/20150901/raiders-place-watson-on-injured-reserve. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  12. Swanson, Ben (March 10, 2017). "Tackle Menelik Watson agrees to terms with Broncos on three-year contract". https://www.denverbroncos.com/news/tackle-menelik-watson-agrees-to-terms-with-broncos-on-three-year-contra-18640634.
  13. Mason, Andrew (November 8, 2017). "Broncos place Menelik Watson on injured reserve, sign T Cyrus Kouandjio". https://www.denverbroncos.com/news/broncos-place-menelik-watson-on-injured-reserve-sign-t-cyrus-kouandjio-19726429.
  14. "Broncos designate Menelik Watson as reserve/injured". August 20, 2018. https://www.denverbroncos.com/news/broncos-designate-menelik-watson-as-reserve-injured.

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