Watson with the Oakland Raiders
|Date of birth:22 December 1988|
|Place of birth: Manchester, England, United Kingdom|
|College: Florida State|
|NFL Draft: 2013 / Round: 2 / Pick: 42|
|No regular season or postseason appearances|
|* Oakland Raiders ( 2013– 2016)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|*ACC Champion (2012)|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2018|
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.
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.
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.
However, after it became clear that even at 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m) Watson was too short to play power forward, Orellana transferred Watson to Saddleback College where he played American football for the first time. Watson played right tackle, opposite of left tackle Kyle Long. After a single year at Saddleback, he transferred to Florida State University, where he started 12 of 13 games for the Florida State Seminoles football team during the 2012 season, allowing just one quarterback sack.
After his 2012 season, Watson announced his decision to forego his senior season and enter the NFL Draft.
|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|
Watson dressed for five games while starting for three of them in his rookie year.
On March 10, 2017, Watson signed a three-year contract with the Denver Broncos. He started the first seven games at right tackle before suffering a calf injury and was placed on injured reserve on November 8, 2017.
On August 20, 2018, Watson was placed on injured reserve with a pectoral injury. He was released on September 8, 2018.
Watson has a daughter Orellana—named in honour of his mentor Rob—who lives in Manchester with her mother.
- 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.
- Tally-ho, Watson
- Former hoopster, boxer Menelik Watson a hidden gem for Florida St.
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- "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.
- 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/.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- "Broncos designate Menelik Watson as reserve/injured". August 20, 2018. https://www.denverbroncos.com/news/broncos-designate-menelik-watson-as-reserve-injured.