The Houston Texans selected former Clemson defensive tackle Carlos Watkins in the 4th round (#142 Overall) of the 2017 NFL draft. He will join former teammates Deshaun Watson, D.J. Reader and Nuk Hopkins in Houston.
"Another explosive, one-gap defensive tackle. Not a lot of them in this class, though," NFL analyst Mike Mayock said. "Got through a horrific car crash early in his career at Clemson. Gets up the field. He's a one-gap guy. I think he needs to play in a rotation. When he's fresh, stays low and plays with leverage he's a different guy than when all of a sudden he gets tired and doesn't bend at the hips. I think he's a talented kid, I think he needs to play in a rotation. He has some movement skills."
Watkins made an enormous impact on the Tiger defense during his career, especially his last two seasons as a starter. He had 191 tackles, 26 tackles for loss and 14 sacks in 1,666 snaps over 53 games (30 starts) in his career and had 24 career games with at least one tackle for loss.
In 2016, Watkins was named First-team All-American by CBS Sports and second-team All-American by the Associated Press. He completed his senior season with 82 tackles, 13.5 for loss and 10.5 sacks in 758 snaps over 15 games (15 starts) and also added 13 quarterback pressures and four pass breakups as well. His sack total was the highest by a Clemson defensive tackle in history, breaking the mark of 10 held by Jim Stuckey, William Perry and Michael Dean Perry.