Christian Watson, the former Plant star who became a multidimensional force at North Dakota State, was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the second round (34th overall) of the NFL Draft.
He is the first local taken in this year’s draft.
Watson had an impressive senior season with the Panthers in 2016. He caught eight touchdowns and helped the Panthers reach the Class 7A state championship game.
The recruiting pundits were not impressed, however. Watson was listed as the 501st best receiver in the nation and the 536th best player in the state, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings for the 2017 class.
Watson was an afterthought among big-time college programs, too. His only scholarship offer came from Football Championship Subdivision (Division I-AA) powerhouse North Dakota State. So Watson became a Bison.
It turned out to be the perfect fit.
A three-year starter, Watson was a two-year FCS All-American. He finished with more 2,000 receiving yards and 14 touchdown receptions in his college career. During the Senior Bowl and the NFL combine, Watson (6-foot-5, 208 pounds) impressed scouts with his speed (4.36 in the 40-yard dash) and playmaking abilities.