The Eagles selected three wide receivers in the 2020 draft, which was somewhat expected given their dire need for young talent at the position. Given the oft-mentioned depth at receiver in this class, Howie was able to grab a pair of pretty impressive prospects later than usual.
The wideout that I’m choosing to focus on here, however, is Quez Watkins—the 200th overall pick in the draft.
Watkins is fast. At Southern Miss if a DB didn’t get a hand on him early and was stuck in single coverage he was likely blowing by him. He’s not exactly loose-hipped or quick enough to run a ton of underneath patterns or make defenders miss in short areas, but he’s well above-average working vertically and breaking routes off over the middle of the field with breakaway speed.
See for yourself:
He combines good size and vertical speed with good leaping and high-point ability. Here’s a peak of him in the red zone:
The key for Watkins development and ability to make the roster will depend on his release against more physical corners in the NFL. He’ll be a real threat out of the slot on occasion, but he doesn’t have the skillset to have a ton of value there if he can’t stick on the outside, so adding a release will pretty much make or break him as a prospect.
Here’s Daniel Jeremiah’s breakdown from draft day in case you missed it:
Watkins has played lower levels of competition in the Conference USA but the fact that he’s dominated that competition over the past two seasons is promising (earning 1st C-USA honors two years in a row).
The Eagles suddenly have a respectable group of wide receivers relative to the past few years. DeSean, Alshon, Reagor, Goodwin, JJAW, then some mix of Greg Ward, John Hightower, and Quez Watkins.
They could definitely trade Alshon before the season starts, and it’ll also be smart to keep insurance for both he and DeSean on the practice squad given their injury history.
Between John Hightower and Quez Watkins I expect one of them to make the team, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s room for both in the organization.