KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs seventh round pick Jaylen Watson’s story makes him easy to root for.
After attending Ventura College for two years, a junior college in California, he signed to attend USC. But he never made it to Southern Cal because he needed to finish classes to become eligible.
As he redshirted his junior year getting eligible, he returned home to Augusta, Georgia and worked with his mother, who is a manager at Wendy’s.
“I love her to death, but it was terrible,” Watson said with a laugh.
“It’s so bad, you get no breaks away from your mom – you go to work, you’re with your mom, you go home, you’re with your mom. You can’t even talk about work. It’s just bad. But I still love her.”
Watson credits his mother for his resilient spirit on Mother’s Day as he fights for a job on the Chiefs roster.
“My mother’s always been so supportive of me. I went through a lot of ups and downs in my life, whether I wanted to be an actor or rapper or whatever, she was always there to support me,” Watson said. “That’s like my superwoman.”
After leaving home to finish his college career at Washington State, the 6’3, 205 pound defensive back was a two-time Pac-12 honorable mention honoree. His hard work was rewarded when the Chiefs took him as one of five defensive backs they spent a draft pick on.
“It was so nerve-racking. Me personally, I wasn’t expecting to go that late, so I was kind of down,” Watson said. “Everyone was telling me, ‘Stay off your phone,’ because I’m looking at every draft pick on day three, because I knew I was going to be a day three guy. Everyone just kept aggravating me and they were irritating.”
When Watson finally got the call, he said he and one of his close friends had a memorable moment of excitement.
“I had already seen Kansas City had got two corners, and I really wanted to go to Kansas City, so I was like, ‘Man.’ Then the call, I saw the Kansas City area code, me and my friend looked at each other, our eyes got super big, and they said, ‘This is the Chiefs,’ and I was just so excited I just started running full speed down the street. Everyone in the house saw me and they were like, ‘What’s wrong, what’s wrong, who is it?’ I was like, ‘It’s the Chiefs!’”
Watson said he wanted to go the Chiefs because of the team’s emphasis on press man coverage and because of the team’s success.
Despite being a seventh round pick, Watson hopes to keep the winning culture already in place in KC.
“We’re not gonna lose much here I don’t believe.”