Player Watch #35: Declan Watson - re-signed until end of 2019

giantroo

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Thread starter #1
Welcome to Declan Watson



afl.com.au:

Selection No.34 – Declan Watson
Bryce Lewis says: "A key defender who just gets the job done. He reads the play really well, has matched up against some of the better forwards this year and acquitted himself quite capably. He can body and negate but he does come off and reads the play very well. He also gets involved in the play on the way out too."

nmfc.com.au:

Declan Watson - Pick 34

Bryce Lewis Says:

“Declan is a key-defender who has been at the Brisbane Lions Academy.

“He’s got a strong body and he’s highly competitive. He has great ability to play one-on-one, read the ball and intercept and get involved in some offensive ball movement.

“In terms of position (defence) it was a need, but at the same time we haven't jumped over players to reach for Declan. We rated him in that draft range and we were able to pick him up which is fantastic."
 
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giantroo

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Thread starter #3
http://www.nmfc.com.au/news/2016-11-25/pick-34-declan-watson



Declan Watson
17/9/98, 194cm, 80kg
Aspley
Key defender
From AFL.com.au

The tall key defender looked assured during the division two NAB Under-18 AFL Championships, performing shut-down roles for Queensland on the opposition's best forwards. Also averaged 15.5 possessions for the Allies in division one.

The Aspley Hornets product is a very strong mark, reads the play well and throws himself into every contest. Nominated by the Brisbane Lions as an Academy selection.

From AFL Talent Manager Kevin Sheehan
“He’s a talent … Love the way he reads the play."

From AFL Queensland Talent Manager Adrian Fletcher
"He's a defender who can read the play. He takes marks by reading the ball off the boot quickly and out-positioning his direct opponent. He normally takes 10 marks a game back there and he's very competitive."

From Brisbane Academy Manager Luke Curran
“Since he got back from Christmas break he is starting to understand what is required to be a high level footballer and we are starting to see some real improvement in his training standards and intensity. Hopefully he can continue that and hold down that key defensive role for the state team and be a bit of a leader in the backline as well.”
 
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giantroo

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Thread starter #4
Declan Watson (QLD - Brisbane Academy)


Best position:
Key defence

Height, weight: 194cm, 80kg

Recruited from: Aspley

Plays like: Jack Hombsch

Projected draft range: late draf

Rated last month: Unrated

Rationale behind ranking/change of ranking: 
Promising play during AFL Under-18 Championships. Involved in offensive drives out of back half.
Strengths:

- Finds a lot of the ball for a key defender

- Always looks involved and on the move when the ball is in his area

- Provides run in support on forward drives

- Zones off well down back

- Intercept marking

- Reading flight of the ball

- Able to shut down opposition key forwards

- Moves well through traffic

- Good at ground level

- While testing suggests otherwise, movement in games was fine

Weaknesses:

- Weighting on kicks can be hot and cold from game to game

- Good but not dominant one-on-one or as an intercept mark
 
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#19
Declan Watson / QLD / 191cm / 83kg


Reckon the bid for this kid will come earlier than people think. He is a very good defender and ticks a lot of the boxes you want. In some ways I rate him higher than Maibaum. He balances attack and defence really well and he can read the play, intercept and take a good mark. His agility and ball use is good and I doubt it will be long before he goes past Frost.

Watson seems to be falling down the draft lists and the way things are heading someone could end up with a very big bargain. He is a Lions academy player but with the Lions having a large gap after their fourth pick at 22 there might be a real chance of another team grabbing him. I like Watson and think he looks like a prototypical modern defender who will work very well in an AFL zone defence. He is capable in a shut-down role but I do not think this is his strength.

Watson is a very good judge of the ball in the air for a key defender and is at his best when he has the flexibility to play in space and back himself to get to the ball. When he has that space it is noticeable how frequently he is the guy in the best position to mark the ball. He is not put off when others in the contest gets out of position and he will back himself in. His hands are very good for a KPD and he can clunk his marks. He shows good awareness for when to mark and when to spoil. Personally I would rate Watson as the best intercept marking tall defender in this draft.

The Combine results would have been a disappointment for Watson and, for me, things didn't really align with what I have seen of him on the field. Like quite a few he measured short and I think the 194cm he was listed as at the Champs is more likely to be accurate. He looks to have decent size. I note that his arms measured long and his reach was in at the 87th percentile which seems right. I think he has enough height to play KPD at AFL level. Pace was another area where watching him play he seems to have more than enough. Perhaps it is just that he reacts quicker than others but in game situations he looks pretty quick. The sprint results at the Combine were a bit confusing. He managed only a 3.11 for the 20m (disappointing but not disastrous) which was in the bottom 15% of those tested. In the 30m repeat sprint though he was in the top 30% which is where I had been hoping to see him in the 20m as well.

His agility test was also poor which you do not want to see from a KPD. A lot of guys who do not train for the agility test do poorly in it and I would hope this was the case for Watson. He is not a guy who seems to have trouble recovering in game situations. His endurance testing was pretty middle of the pack and that seems pretty reflective in his game tape.

I think Watson has suffered in many eye's because of he had his worst game of the year in the televised game against WA. So there are all the highlights out there of him missing targets time and again. I have seen him 7 or 8 times over the year and I think that game really misrepresented the quality of his disposal skills. Watson is an excellent kick for a KP and has been the designated kick in taker for most of the teams he has played with. He is good in that role and you can see the quality of his kicks. By way of comparison, Perryman took a lot of kick ins as well and I would say that Watson was far superior in this role. In general play he reads the play well and is not afraid to take the tight options. This can sometimes result in turnovers but I do like his confidence and in most games the results are good and he can put his teammates away. The feel on his kicks is usually very good although it can go missing sometimes.

Watson has good penetration on his handballs but he can miss targets sometimes. Under pressure Watson is composed and is not one of the KPDs who gets flustered and gives the ball away whenever someone gets close to him. He can sometimes handball to a close target under pressure but I think this has often been as much the fault of the receiver as of Watson.

Overall I really like Watson and hope the Lions pick him up. I see him developing into a very skilled, intercept marking defender who can contribute effectively both ways.
 

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#21
Declan Watson / QLD / 191cm / 83kg


Reckon the bid for this kid will come earlier than people think. He is a very good defender and ticks a lot of the boxes you want. In some ways I rate him higher than Maibaum. He balances attack and defence really well and he can read the play, intercept and take a good mark. His agility and ball use is good and I doubt it will be long before he goes past Frost.

Watson seems to be falling down the draft lists and the way things are heading someone could end up with a very big bargain. He is a Lions academy player but with the Lions having a large gap after their fourth pick at 22 there might be a real chance of another team grabbing him. I like Watson and think he looks like a prototypical modern defender who will work very well in an AFL zone defence. He is capable in a shut-down role but I do not think this is his strength.

Watson is a very good judge of the ball in the air for a key defender and is at his best when he has the flexibility to play in space and back himself to get to the ball. When he has that space it is noticeable how frequently he is the guy in the best position to mark the ball. He is not put off when others in the contest gets out of position and he will back himself in. His hands are very good for a KPD and he can clunk his marks. He shows good awareness for when to mark and when to spoil. Personally I would rate Watson as the best intercept marking tall defender in this draft.

The Combine results would have been a disappointment for Watson and, for me, things didn't really align with what I have seen of him on the field. Like quite a few he measured short and I think the 194cm he was listed as at the Champs is more likely to be accurate. He looks to have decent size. I note that his arms measured long and his reach was in at the 87th percentile which seems right. I think he has enough height to play KPD at AFL level. Pace was another area where watching him play he seems to have more than enough. Perhaps it is just that he reacts quicker than others but in game situations he looks pretty quick. The sprint results at the Combine were a bit confusing. He managed only a 3.11 for the 20m (disappointing but not disastrous) which was in the bottom 15% of those tested. In the 30m repeat sprint though he was in the top 30% which is where I had been hoping to see him in the 20m as well.

His agility test was also poor which you do not want to see from a KPD. A lot of guys who do not train for the agility test do poorly in it and I would hope this was the case for Watson. He is not a guy who seems to have trouble recovering in game situations. His endurance testing was pretty middle of the pack and that seems pretty reflective in his game tape.

I think Watson has suffered in many eye's because of he had his worst game of the year in the televised game against WA. So there are all the highlights out there of him missing targets time and again. I have seen him 7 or 8 times over the year and I think that game really misrepresented the quality of his disposal skills. Watson is an excellent kick for a KP and has been the designated kick in taker for most of the teams he has played with. He is good in that role and you can see the quality of his kicks. By way of comparison, Perryman took a lot of kick ins as well and I would say that Watson was far superior in this role. In general play he reads the play well and is not afraid to take the tight options. This can sometimes result in turnovers but I do like his confidence and in most games the results are good and he can put his teammates away. The feel on his kicks is usually very good although it can go missing sometimes.

Watson has good penetration on his handballs but he can miss targets sometimes. Under pressure Watson is composed and is not one of the KPDs who gets flustered and gives the ball away whenever someone gets close to him. He can sometimes handball to a close target under pressure but I think this has often been as much the fault of the receiver as of Watson.

Overall I really like Watson and hope the Lions pick him up. I see him developing into a very skilled, intercept marking defender who can contribute effectively both ways.
Pffft. Sounds like someone who has watched the kid play. What would they know?

Thanks for finding and posting this - great to get some detail.
 

Bojan KantKick

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#24
Yay, we took 'one of the best kpd's in the draft'......in a midfielders draft when we are crying out for mids and this is the worst KPP draft I've ever seen.

Wish the kid the best of luck but have zero confidence.
 
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