Arkansas defensive tackle Armon Watts was the first of the Minnesota Vikings’ three sixth-round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft. Shortly after he was drafted, Watts got an opportunity to sit down on a conference call with the Twin Cities media and answer some questions. The following is the transcript of that call.
Thanks to the Minnesota Vikings’ PR Department for providing this transcript.
I just want to thank the Wilf family for giving me this chance. I’m just proud to be a part of an organization with so much history. Got a lot great players, great defense, great offense and I know we’re on the right track.
Q: How important was it to you that when they had the coaching change they brought out the best in you?
A: I was grateful really. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know where I would be in the mix; obviously it paid off for me. I bought into the program and what they were trying to accomplish and I’m grateful for that. It paid off big time for me.
Q: What was the biggest fact in turning around your career and having a big year last year?
A: I think for me it was of course the elephant in the room was it was my last year. You had to put on some good tape to even get an opportunity. I think once I established that confidence within myself, established trust with the coaches I found things that worked for me as a player. I think once I put all those things together it paid off for me, got me to where I am today.
Q: Is there anything you can point to where the light went on?
A: I think for me it was as the season progressed. I made a few plays, good plays early on in the season and once we got to that competition, you know SEC play. I didn’t slack off at all. I think once I felt like I could compete with those guys I could just build my confidence more and I didn’t let up.
Q: In general what was it like battling in the trenches in the SEC?
A: In my opinion the SEC is as tough as it gets and as you see in the draft we always have the most draft picks. In the SEC it’s never a question about toughness, and toughness starts in the trenches. You absolutely have to win in the trenches to win a game, period. It was definitely challenging. I took it upon myself to be the toughest guy in the trenches that game and whoever we were playing against. It was definitely challenging but something I can handle.
Q: How much did you talk to the Vikings in the pre-draft process?
A: I did. I worked with Coach Rob Rodriguez during the East-West, met with a few front office guys, I established a relationship with Coach [Andre] Patterson during the combine. After, he told me he saw me as a real good interior D-lineman. I know he’s able to see me as a one-tech, or a two or three-tech. The more I can do for him, the more I know he’s going to like it. I’m just ready to be coached by such a great defensive line coach.
Q: Where do feel is your best fit on the line with your pass rushing skills?
A: To be honest anywhere between the three and one. I’ve rushed from the inside from a one-technique in college and I was able to beat double teams. I’m great with my hands so whenever I can get that initial contact, which is most likely you get that fast at the one-tech. I like getting those hands often. I know coach will put me in different situations and whatever he sees fit best I’m ready to work at.