Benjamin Watson

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For other uses, see Ben Watson (disambiguation).
Benjamin Watson
refer to caption
Watson in 2011
No. 82 Baltimore Ravens
Position: Tight end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1980-12-18) December 18, 1980 (age 36)
Place of birth: Norfolk, Virginia
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight: 251 lb (114 kg)
Career information
High school: Rock Hill (SC) Northwestern
College: Georgia
NFL Draft: 2004 / Round: 1 / Pick: 32
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2016
Receptions: 434
Receiving yards: 4,963
Receiving touchdowns: 38
Player stats at

Benjamin Watson (born December 18, 1980) is an American football tight end for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the New England Patriots 32nd overall in the 2004 NFL draft. He played college football at Georgia. Watson has also played for the Cleveland Browns and New Orleans Saints.

Early years[edit]

Watson was born in Norfolk, Virginia. He attended Northwestern High School in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and was a letterman in football and track. In football, as a senior, he caught 31 passes for 515 yards. The two-time All-Region selection and Northwestern HS Student of the Year led his team to the state championship in his junior season. He was also a member of his high school chapter of The Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

In track & field, Watson was a standout sprinter, recording personal-best times of 22.37 seconds in the 200 meters and 50.03 seconds in the 400 meters.[1]

College career[edit]

Watson played football at Duke University prior to transferring to the University of Georgia where he majored in finance. In 3 seasons at Georgia he had 65 catches for 852 yards and 6 TD.

  • 2001 (Georgia): 11 catches for 187 yards with 1 TD.
  • 2002 (Georgia): 31 catches for 341 yards with 3 TD.
  • 2003 (Georgia): 23 catches for 324 yards with 2 TD.

Professional career[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 3½ in 258 lb 4.53 s 1.61 s 2.68 s 4.11 s 7.38 s 35½ in 10 ft 3 in 34 reps 48[2]
All values from NFL Combine[3]

New England Patriots[edit]

Watson with the Patriots in 2009

Watson entered the league after scoring a 48 on his Wonderlic Test.[4] That is tied for third highest score ever in the NFL. He was drafted by the New England Patriots 32nd overall in the 2004 NFL draft. He was on the injured list for almost his entire rookie season for the Patriots, playing in only one game. Watson received a Super Bowl ring following the Patriots' win over the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX.

He continued to battle injuries throughout his stint in New England, starting just 47 games in six seasons with the team.[4] He nabbed a career-best six touchdown passes in the Patriots' undefeated 2007 campaign, third best on the team.[5] His highlight as a Patriot occurred in the 2006 playoff defeat to the Denver Broncos, when he ran the distance of the football field (and from across it) to catch Champ Bailey after an interception. The play has been called "one of the greatest forgotten plays in Patriots history."[6]

Cleveland Browns[edit]

Watson (far left) in Browns training camp in 2012

On March 12, 2010, Watson signed a three-year deal with the Cleveland Browns, reuniting him with former Patriots assistant coach, Eric Mangini. In the 2010 season, Watson led the Browns in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns (tied with Brian Robiskie).

New Orleans Saints[edit]

On March 18, 2013, Watson agreed to terms on a three-year contract with the New Orleans Saints.[7] In 2015, he was elected as one of the offensive team captains (along with Drew Brees and Zach Strief).[8] In Week 6, he had a solid performance, catching 10 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown as the Saints beat the undefeated Atlanta Falcons in a nationally televised Thursday Night Football game.[9] In a Week 8 game against the New York Giants, Watson caught 9 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown, easily besting his previous performance against the Falcons.

At the conclusion of the 2015 campaign, Watson was recognized as one of three finalists (Eli Manning and Anquan Boldin) for the Walter Payton Man-of-the-Year award, which was won by Boldin. As well as being named a Pro Bowl Alternate.[10]

Watson was also one of five finalists for the NFLPA's Whizzer White Man of the Year award.[11]

Baltimore Ravens[edit]

On March 9, 2016, Watson signed a 2-year contract with the Baltimore Ravens worth $7 million with $3 million guaranteed until 2018.[12][13] On August 27, 2016, during the Ravens' third preseason game, he suffered a torn Achilles tendon, ending his season.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Watson is married to Kirsten Vaughn Watson, who grew up in Baton Rouge.[15] Vaughn was a multisport athlete at Episcopal. Her grandfather, Isaac Greggs, was the longtime band director at Southern. Her father Percy Vaughn, is from New Orleans and a Southern University graduate.[15] Her mom, Audree, attended Louisiana State University.[15]

Vaughn and Watson married in 2005 after his rookie NFL year. Together they have children: twin daughters Grace and Naomi, sons Isaiah and Judah (March 19, 2013), and daughter Eden (August 15, 2015).[16][17][18][19][20] Watson is a devout Christian who is known for being outspoken about his faith.[21]

Benjamin has a younger brother, Asa, who was signed by the New England Patriots on May 10, 2014 but was released before the season started.[22]

Following the events in Ferguson, Missouri, Watson wrote a Facebook post on the issue of race in America that was "liked" on Facebook more than 850,000 times. The post received national attention.[23]

On November 17, 2015, Watson released a book, Under Our Skin: Getting Real About Race--And Getting Free From the Fears and Frustrations That Divide Us, with Tyndale House Publishers.[24]

On January 27, 2017, Watson was one of the speakers at the 2017 March for Life, an annual rally protesting abortion and Roe v. Wade.[25]


  1. ^ "Ben Watson - Arkansas State - Patriots TE". Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  2. ^ "Historical NFL Wonderlic Scores". Archived from the original on September 2, 2016. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Benjamin Watson". Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ "2007 New England Patriots Statistics & Players -". Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  6. ^ "Remembering one of the greatest forgotten plays in Patriots history". 15 December 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  7. ^ "Saints sign Ben Watson". Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  8. ^ Katherine Terrell, "New Orleans Saints vote three new captains for 2015 season", The Times-Picayune, September 10, 2015.
  9. ^ Gregg Rosenthal, "Saints knock out Falcons from ranks of undefeated",, October 16, 2015 ("It should forever be remembered as The Ben Watson Game, as the 12-year veteran did his best Jimmy Graham impression with 10 catches and 127 yards and a touchdown. It was cool to watch one of the league's longtime good guys put up a random career game in his 12th season.")
  10. ^ "Benjamin Watson named a finalist for NFL Man of the Year - FOX Sports". 25 January 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  11. ^ "NFL Players Association - 2016 Byron "Whizzer" White Award Finalists Announced". Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  12. ^ "Ravens Agree To Deal With TE Benjamin Watson". Retrieved 2016-03-10. 
  13. ^ "Benjamin Watson". Retrieved 2016-03-10. 
  14. ^ Orr, Conor (August 27, 2016). "Ravens' Ben Watson out for season with torn Achilles". Retrieved August 28, 2016. 
  15. ^ a b c "watson family". 
  16. ^ eden moriah is here
  17. ^ pic of newborn eden moriah
  18. ^ Ben Watson back to work after birth of fifth child
  19. ^ "For Saints tight end Watson, family, faith come first". 
  20. ^ "Watson: "Family, faith come first" - Benjamin Watson". 15 August 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  21. ^ "Unpackin' It — Benjamin Watson". 
  22. ^ Wire, SI. "The Cowboys have reportedly signed the brother of Benjamin Watson". Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  23. ^ "Read what Saints' Benjamin Watson wrote on Facebook about unrest in Ferguson, Mo.". Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  24. ^ Vrentas, Jenny. "Saints TE Ben Watson goes deep with new book on race in U.S. - The MMQB with Peter King". Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  25. ^ Berry, Susan (24 January 2017). "Trump Counselor Kellyanne Conway, NFL Star Ben Watson to Headline 44th Annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.". Breitbart News. Retrieved 26 January 2017. 

External links[edit]