The Philadelphia Eagles selected Quez Watkins with pick No. 200 in the 2020 NFL Draft. In order to learn more about the Southern Miss wide receiver, I reached out to SB Nation’s blog that features Conference USA coverage: Underdog Dynasty. The excellent Eric Henry was kind enough to answer my questions.
1) Can you recap his college career?
He had a solid, yet, somewhat enigmatic collegiate career. In his final two seasons at Southern Miss, he was arguably the most dynamic offensive weapon in Conference USA. The opening game of his sophomore season was the one that put everyone on notice. He hauled in three receiving touchdowns and added an 81-yard punt return for a score against Jackson State. However, there was the occasional game where he was held in-check by opponents that you would have liked to have seen him rise to the occasion. Last year against Florida Atlantic and 2018 versus Charlotte come to mind. Also, he missed the first two games of 2019 for undisclosed reasons, coming off the offseason that saw him have to withdraw from Southern Miss for a semester for academic reasons.
2) What are his strengths?
It wasn’t a secret that Watkins’ success can be attributed to his game-breaking speed. But the 40-yard-dash time of 4.35 at this past year’s NFL combine cemented the fact that he has elite speed at the next level. He’s an excellent deep threat and can also be a factor in the return game.
3) What are his weaknesses?
You probably would have wanted to see him have better showings against the premier teams that Southern Miss played (Alabama) or the top teams in C-USA (FAU, Marshall).
4) Are you surprised where he was drafted? Higher or lower than expected? Just right?
In my opinion, he would have been drafted higher if this year’s draft were not as deep at wide receiver. Based on talent alone, Watkins would have been a third or fourth round selection and his production in Conference USA warranted as much.
5) How do you see his NFL career playing out?
I think the biggest factor that will determine his success is his ability to contribute as a returner and play in the slot. This isn’t to say that he doesn’t possess that talent to play on the outside at the NFL level, but given his athleticism, he could make an immediate impact working out of the slot and create mismatches.
6) Anything to know about him off the field?
The issues mentioned above will not have any bearing on his pro career. Those were formalities for being a collegiate athlete.
BLG’s take: Watkins isn’t necessarily a lock to make the roster as a rookie; he might end up on the practice squad instead. Even if he does make the 53, Watkins could be a healthy scratch for most of the season. The Eagles will be tasked with developing him into an eventual contributor.
Spider graph via Mockdraftable: