When a team like the Philadelphia Eagles selects three wide receivers – and trades for one more – during the same draft, it’s hard to give each player their due diligence.
It’s unfortunate, a major bummer, and a tad unfair, but hey, that’s the business my friends. When a team invests a first-round pick on a ‘mostly’ unexpected Big 12 receiver like Jalen Reagor and then doubles down on the position with a high-upside height-weight-speed prospect in John Hightower, it’s hard to find words to express excitement over yet another speedy 6-foot-tall receiver with sub-4.5 speed who may find himself the odd man out in a loaded position group.Which is a shame, because Quez Watkins is actually a pretty darn impressive player.
A three-year contributor at Southern Miss, Watkins is kind of a hard to project into the NFL. He was never gifted exceptional quarterback play, played in a rather uninspiring offense, and only faced off against ranked opponents twice over his college career – catching eight passes for a rather unimpressive 72 in a pair of losses to Alabama in 2019 and Auburn in 2018.
But what Watkins can do, despite having everything stacked against him, is make plays with the ball in his hands.
Sure sure, he can catch a vertical route lined up wide, and even do so in a 50/50 situation, but where Watkins shined in college – and should shine in the NFL – is as a YAC magnet. Flip on Watkins’ highlight reel and you’ll see play after play where the 21-year-old former two-star recruit catches a ball within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage, juke out a defender – or three – and take the ball for a massive gain.