Moments ago the Indianapolis Colts announced they are signing a former Kansas City Chiefs safety but probably not the one you were expecting:
Signing safety Armani Watts. pic.twitter.com/4yoXJ403Qi— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) April 5, 2022
Watts is entering his fifth season after being drafted by the Chiefs in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL draft out of Texas A&M. At A&M Watts was an All-American and played in the 2018 Senior Bowl. In the NFL Watts hasn’t produced much on the field but is just 26 years old.
I asked Kent Swanson of the KC Sports Network what he could tell me about Watts as a player, Swanson responded:
Highly regarded ST player. Not much on defense. Can play in 2h but not an inspiring defensive player.
Swanson is referring to 2-high coverages when he says “2h”, so things like cover two or cover four. Which is interesting to note considering the Colts new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley will be moving away from those two high safety sets that the Colts used with great success under Matt Eberflus. With that said it is possible Chris Ballard and his staff have seen enough on tape to project him as a better fit with the Colts new defensive scheme.
A quick search of Armani Watts does turn up some defensive highlights like this one:
this is a *grab* from Armani Watts... 2nd INT of the game pic.twitter.com/zxc2Ws01qI— TOM MARTIN (@LetItFlyTom) August 31, 2018
and this one:
#Chiefs defensive back Armani Watts gets the interception served to him on a platter.#KCvsSF— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) August 15, 2021
But the biggest plays of his NFL career haven’t come on defense for the fifth year DB. Watts really is a difference maker on special teams:
Armani Watts will be taking over for the Injured Juan Thornhill this week. Watts has been mostly a special teams guy for the Chiefs this year, and here he is snuffing out a Denver Bronco fake punt. pic.twitter.com/Ye4KfkiUEc— Caleb James (@CJScoobs) January 7, 2020
This one hurt but he made a play for his team:
Poor Armani Watts got up ended ok the onsides kick. #PlaysYouMissed pic.twitter.com/dTj3OwGq1X— Nick Jacobs (@Jacobs71) September 10, 2019
If we could get a couple of these next season, we will all be Armani Watts fans:
FIELD GOAL BLOCKED!— Mitchel Summers (@WIBWMitchel) November 1, 2020
Armani Watts gets free and denies the field goal before the end of the half. #ChiefsKingdom pic.twitter.com/mU2sF1Xaxz
This seems like a solid signing for special teams and at just 26 years old it’s possible Watts could excel in a new defensive system under Gus Bradley. So while you shouldn’t place any bets on it, it is possible Watts has some upside in a depth role on defense.
The 2022 Indianapolis Colts badly need depth at multiple positions and this is just one move of several that are needed to add that depth. Even though this isn’t Tyrann Mathieu (who is visiting the Saints and has mutual interest with the Rams), this is the kind of free agent signing that can make a big difference come November.