New England Patriots kick-off in 41 days: profiling No. 41 Dekoda Watson


Opening day countdowns are great. So are player profiles. Here at Musket Fire, we decided to combine them and create a Week 1 countdown-oriented, jersey number-dictated player profile series. Yesterday we looked at No. 42 Xzavier Dickson, and the day before that it was No. 43 Nate Ebner. Because today marks 41 days until the New England Patriots open 2015, we are profiling No. 41, veteran linebacker Dekoda Watson.

Next: Predicting 53-man depth chart

Picked by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft, Watson is a veteran of five NFL seasons.

Watson showed flashes of promise in 2013 when he racked up 42 combined tackles, two sacks and an interception with the Buccaneers. For the most part, however, Watson has been a role player, and as of late, a journeyman.

In the 2014 offseason, the Bucs cut ties with Watson and he ended up in Jacksonville. He played his last game with the Jaguars in early November against the Cowboys in London, from which point he was released, and then signed by the Cowboys four days later, oddly enough. He recorded a tackle in the Wild Card playoffs against the Lions.

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According to a scouting report by Bryan Broaddus after the Cowboys signed him, Watson has the ability to play both Sam and Will linebacker. He brings energy to the field, running all over the place and rarely missing tackles. As CBS Boston’s Michael Hurley noted yesterday morning, Watson could take the place of Akeem Ayers this season:

"The players acquired midseason last year for the Patriots — Jonathan Casillas and Akeem Ayers, who helped ensure Lynch didn’t cross that goal line — are both gone, perhaps allowing Jonathan Freeny or Dekoda Watson to get some serious preseason and early-season playing time."

In case you missed them, here are the profiles for No. 44 Matthew Wells, No. 45 D.J. Lynch, No. 46 james Develin, No. 47 Michael Hoomanawanui, No. 48 Geneo Grissom, No. 49 Joe Cardona, No. 50 Rob Ninkovich, No. 51 Jerod Mayo, No. 52 Dane Fletcher, No. 53 Eric Martin, No. 54 Dont’a Hightower, No. 55 Jonathan Freeny, No. 58 Darius Fleming, No. 59 Chris White, No. 60 David Andrews, No. 61 Marcus Cannon and No. 62 Ryan Wendell.

Because there is currently no owner of the No. 40 jersey, this series will take a break tomorrow. Be sure to check back on Musket Fire Sunday morning as we celebrate 39 days until Week 1 by profiling No. 39, running back Travaris Cadet.

Next: Notes from first day of training camp