I was one of the many NE fans who gagged when Belichuk took Watson in the first round the year before last. He is a very smart guy. He is a great receiver. He will be a top 15 TE this year or next. NE has a habit of putting rookies on IR or PUPlists very ealry on and letting them spend the whole first year learning the game. Did wonders for Ty Warren(though he did receive spot duty). Graham spent most of his first year inactive. Even D Branch after his first few games, spent the rookie year mostly inactive.
The key for NE, and why they brought in Watson, was because they wanted a capable 3rd TE because they run 3 TE sets (especially at the GL). They need Graham, Fauria and Watson. Why do you think it was Mike Vrabel catching a TD in the SB 2 yrs ago. He caught another TD this year. It is really a brilliant game philosophy, you don't challenge DB depth (with 4-5 WR sets), you challenge coverage LB depth (which doesn't often go very far) by setting 3 TE's. It allows you to audible to an I-form with great TE blocking or open up and spread the D.
And of the 3 TE's, Watson is by far the most talented. I think he will be great this year.
"I didn't do it" - OJ on the stand, October 1994