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Jaylen Watkins NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Eagles CB

Vanderbilt wide receiver Chris Boyd (80) tries to catch the ball as he's defended by Florida defensive back Jaylen Watkins (14) in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
Wade Payne/Associated Press
Ian WhartonContributor IFebruary 12, 2014

Jaylen Watkins, CB, Florida (HT: 5’11½”; WT: 194 lbs)

Philadelphia Eagles (Eagles trade 83rd pick to Texans for 101st and 141st picks)

Fourth Round: 101st Pick 

NFL Comparison: Keenan Lewis, CB, New Orleans Saints

Combine Weigh In
HeightWeightArmHand
511419430 5/8"9 5/8"
NFL.com
Combine Results
40-yard dash10-yard splitVertBroad3-ConeShuttle
4.411.50DNPDNPDNPDNP
NFL.com

Positives

  • Very smooth athlete that wastes very little movement during backpedal, pivot and transfer process. The smoothness translates well to multiple schemes.  
  • Clean hip movement and good speed allowed match-ups with even the best receivers in the speedy SEC. 
  • Routinely played against NFL caliber receivers, and was able to lock down top competition as a cornerback.
  • Impressive lateral quickness that separates him from others in the class, as he can cover slot men and swallow them up with tight coverage.  
  • Good leaper and timing when battling for the ball, despite having average height and frame. 
  • Tough competitor that has the "IT" factor to get better and do what is necessary for the team. 
  • Versatile skills; played mostly safety as a senior due to injuries and depth at Florida.
  • Was the most impressive cornerback on a team with two other NFL caliber defensive backs, Loucheiz Purifoy and Marcus Roberson. 
  • Played on an island, mostly playing man or cover 2, and had a burn percentage of 15 percent, which is excellent.
  • Has good potential for press coverage, and was effective in applying the press. 
  • Most consistent cornerback at the Senior Bowl practices, often staying attached to the hip of receivers, then used timing to explode towards the ball and breaking up the pass.
  • Able to control the boundary in cover two, redirecting the receiver off of the intended route.

 

 

  

 

Negatives

  • Played safety for much of 2013, so progression of cornerback skills weren’t evident.
  • Didn’t force any turnovers as a safety, possibly indicating lack of ball awareness and eye-discipline for the position.
  • Needs to add strength to hold up against big, number one receivers, but his frame may not be able to handle the extra mass. Elite lateral explosiveness shouldn't be compromised. 
  • Doesn’t have much experience on special teams, and will likely be asked to play there as a rookie.
  • Route anticipation isn’t superb, and doesn’t jump as many routes as he could. To become an elite defender, he will need to convert opportunities into actual turnovers. 
  • Instead of focusing on the receiver, he needs to become more consistent in turning his head to locate the ball, then make a play for the ball.

 

Collegiate Statistics
YearTeamTacklesPDINT
2010Florida810
2011Florida3450
2012Florida39113
2013Florida5270
http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/jaylen-watkins-1.html

 

Personal Notes

  • Former dual-threat quarterback and defensive back in high school.
  • Was the number four cornerback recruit, according to scout.com.
  • Competed in state championship for track in the 4x100 relay.
  • Twitter handle is @jwat14.

 

Ratings Chart

Graph made by http://nces.ed.gov

Overall

As a member of the most talented defensive backfield in college football in 2013, Watkins was put into a role that he didn’t have much experience in. The film shows that Watkins was the best cornerback on Florida, with all of the physical abilities that can allow him to become a starting player for most NFL teams. Being scheme-diverse will help Watkins succeed. He should be selected on day two of the NFL draft.

 

Draft Projection: Second Round

 


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