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Austin Watkins Jr. NFL Draft 2021: Scouting Report for San Francisco 49ers WR

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor IMay 2, 2021

American Team wide receiver Austin Watkins Jr. (6), of UAB, grabs a touchdown against American Team defensive back Joshuah Bledsoe (10, of Missouri, during the American Team practice for the NCAA Senior Bowl college football game in Mobile, Ala., Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
Matthew Hinton/Associated Press


HEIGHT:
 6'1 1/2"

WEIGHT: 207 lbs

     

POSITIVES

—Good height and build for the WR position.

—Shows good ball-tracking ability. Comfortable going full speed and adjusting for throws over his shoulder.

—Above-average route-runner who shows nice little subtleties on his breaks. Smooth athlete with adequate foot quickness and body control. Never gets out of whack.

—Good hands and catching range. Natural catching the ball away from his body and has enough explosiveness and confidence to snatch throws above him.

—Shows good play strength when fighting through more physical CBs on his routes and when blocking in the run game. Consistently wins against press because of his foot quickness and balance.

       

NEGATIVES

—Not overly twitchy and sudden with his movements. Smooth, not explosive. 

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—Just OK long speed and acceleration.

      

2020 STATISTICS

7 G, 34 rec., 468 yards, 13.8 avg., 3 TD

     

NOTES

—First-team All-CUSA.

—JUCO transfer from Dodge City Community College.

—Cousin of Baltimore Ravens WR Sammy Watkins.

      

OVERALL

Austin Watkins Jr. brings a smooth game to the WR position with the ability to track deep balls and enough route-running chops to work underneath. Watkins has the play strength, balance and body control that allows him to win on routes even against more physical CB play and consistently utilizes his good size to box out smaller DBs.

Watkins doesn't have a lot of twitch to his game, nor does he have a ton of suddenness out of breaks or with the ball in his hands. But he plays under control and is balanced, which allows him to be an effective route-runner, especially versus zone. Watkins also shows good overall hands and is a natural catcher of the football and can play big in 50-50 ball situations.

Overall, Watkins has the size and adequate athleticism that will allow him to be a backup inside and out initially and the play strength to be a contributor on special teams. He still has more room for growth, and he can earn more valuable playing time as he continues to refine his skill set.

         

GRADE: 7.0/10 (Round 4-5)

OVERALL RANK158/300

POSITION RANK: WR25

PRO COMPARISON: Cody Core

           

Written by B/R NFL Scout Nate Tice

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