Eagles DB Jaylen Watkins
The 21-year-old is a strong defender with the ability to stay with receivers and transition out of his backpedal fluidly. Watkins can sometimes get beat but flashes another burst of speed to recovery quickly. He has the ability to play at top-speed running a 4.41 40-yard dash. Watkins is aggressive when the ball is in the air. He reads passes quickly and takes good angles to the ball but doesn't finish interceptions as often as elite cornerbacks are expected. All of this is true for Watkins as a safety as well and he shows strong range in pass coverage at the safety position.
Watkins is a strong defensive back. He put up 22 reps on the bench press at the scouting combine one short of Southeast Louisiana's Todd Washington who lead all defensive backs with 23 reps. Watkins sometimes struggles with translating his strength to the field in terms of play against the run but he doesn't lack in the physicality and aggression department. He is not afraid of a big hit and does a good job of getting off/through blocks and getting to the runner. One thing Watkins does well is tackle as he is a sure tackler which is uncommon these days in the NFL.
Fit with the Eagles:
With the secondary somewhat solidified through free agency, the Eagles were in the position at the draft to add a young player into the mix without having to throw him right into the fire. Watkins now has the ability to come in and contribute in the Eagles secondary but will not have to shoulder the full load as he will be behind Carroll, Bradley Fletcher, Cary Williams and Brandon Boykin at the cornerback spot or behind Jenkins, Earl Wolff and Nate Allen as safety as well.
The Eagles acquired the Watkins pick along with the 141st overall pick (fifth round) from the Houston Texans in exchange for the 83rd overall pick. The Eagles acquired the 83rd pick along with the 26th overall pick from the Cleveland Browns in exchange for the 22nd overall pick. Watkins was certainly a value pick in the middle of Howie Roseman's wheeling and dealing at the draft.
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