After a freshman season in which he made 35 tackles, Waters became one of the better linebackers at the college level. In 2004, he had 70 tackles, nine for loss, and two sacks on the year. A year later, he had a career high 109 tackles, 13.5 for loss, and 1.5 sacks. In the season opener as a senior, Waters injured his knee and missed the rest of the season.
Waters has all the talent to be a standout middle linebacker in the NFL. He has ideal size and strength and is a force against the run. He is quick to read the play, and aggressively fills a hole. He has the strength to take on a blocker, get off and bring down the ball carrier. He also shows the lateral agility to run plays down sideline to sideline. Waters also shows the instincts in coverage, and ability to pick up the football while it is in the air.
The major issue with Waters is the health around his knee. He tore his ACL and basically missed the entire season, and has been unable to work out for teams yet. When healthy, he does not have great speed, and may have issues matching up in coverage for any period of time.
The injury to his knee was devastating. Waters was poised to establish himself was one of the best ILB’s available for this years draft, and the injury has caused doubt around his future. At his individual pro day, Waters ran a 4.62 and had a 34.5" vertical jump, both are very impressive numbers for a player at his position. Just how much that workout will go to easing questions in scouts mind is yet to be seen, but Waters does appear to be on the right track.