American Football: Menelik Watson is highest Brit in NFL draft
Sunday 28 April 2013
Menelik Watson from Manchester has been selected in the second round of the NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. His position as the 42nd player chosen overall is the highest ever achieved by a born-and-bred British player.
The 24-year-old from Longsight, who was the 10th player chosen in the second round, had not played a single down of American football until 18 months ago, when he suited up at Saddleback College in California. Watson came to the scouts' attention during the 2012 college season after transferring to play for the major power Florida State University, where he started 12 games at offensive tackle.
He had previously travelled to the US to play basketball at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York before deciding to have a go at American football.
Watson joins Londoner Jack Crawford, who was drafted by the Raiders in the fifth round in 2012. After his selection by the AFC West team, Watson gave his first media interview as a Raider:
"When I was a kid I knew nothing about American football but I had an Oakland Raiders jersey for some reason and I don't know where it came from," he said after hearing the news. "I think it's my older brother's and I don't know how he got it but I used to wear the Oakland Raiders' jersey so it's really strange that I'm getting drafted for them. I think it's in my wardrobe back home in England."
Manti Te'o, the linebacker who was at the centre of a bizarre hoax involving a fake girlfriend, was drafted by the San Diego Chargers on Friday, a day after being overlooked in the first round of NFL selections. Te'o became a figure of ridicule after it was revealed he was duped into an internet romance with a girl he never met.
"I did expect to go in the first round. But things happened and all it did was give me more motivation to get better," he said. "I don't know if I have something to prove but it definitely puts a huge fire under my butt to just be better."
Two different clubs said they passed on Te'o in the first round partly because of off-field issues.
Latest in Sport
Lionel Messi dumps Jerome Boateng: The moment two-goal hero made Bayern Munich defender look like 'baby in a playpen'
Barcelona vs Bayern Munich match report: Lionel Messi double and Neymar strike put Barca on course for Champions League final
Floyd Mayweather mocks Manny Pacquiao: 'Winners win and losers have excuses'
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings
Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City in top eight of Forbes Rich List
- 1 Qataris pledge to expand Canary Wharf
- 2 #JeSuisEd: People share photos of themselves eating awkwardly in solidarity with Labour leader
- 3 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
- 4 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
- 5 Watch eerie drone footage of destroyed building in Stalingrad
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
General Election 2015: Sturgeon claims Scots 'appalled' by Ed Miliband's refusal to work with SNP
£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...