Everything you need to know about Eagles draft pick Jaylen Watkins
The Eagles grabbed Jaylen Watkins, a CB from Florida, with the first pick of the fourth round. Watkins comes from a family of collegiate football players, as reported on Gator Zone last year:
One of his older cousins played collegiate football for Michigan State. Another cousin of his, Tommy Watkins, played Major League Baseball for the Minnesota Twins, batting .357 in his rookie season. His brother, Sammy, is an All-American junior wide receiver for Clemson University.
So, for Jaylen, a senior cornerback for the Gators, being an athlete is natural — it’s in his blood.
“It was just what my family did,” he said.
Jaylen and Sammy have never played on the same team, however - not even in Pop Warner.
Watkins has a connection to Eagles safety Nate Allen, as well: Allen's mother taught Watkins in school.
Watkins, a 21-year old from Cape Coral, Florida, is listed at 5'11'' and 194 pounds.
He ran a 4,41 second 40-yard dash in the 2014 NFL Combine, and is noted for his versatility.
"While he was often overlooked due to the other top CB recruits at Florida, he was able to prove his versatility by starting at FS and seeing playing time all over the secondary to get on the field. Watkins appears comfortable in off man, press and zone coverage and looks natural down the field, but still has room to improve his awareness and anticipation."
Strengths: Nice size and strength for a cornerback (22 bench-press reps at the combine). Excellent speed. Good fluidity and movement skills. Alert in zones. Flashes some playmaking ability. Versatile -- lined up as a corner, safety and nickel defender and played on all special teams.
Weaknesses: Thin-framed, small-boned and short-armed with minimal muscular development. Lacks ideal size and strength for a safety and quickness and burst for a corner. Average press strength to re-route receivers.
Watkins finished his college career with 133 total tackles and three interceptions.