Eagles Select Jaylen Watkins In Fourth

Jaylen Watkins
The Eagles selected Florida corner/safety Jaylen Watkins with the first pick of the fourth round.

Watkins (6-0, 194) is the brother of Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins. He started nine games for the Gators this season — three at cornerback and six at safety. He finished the year with 52 tackles and seven passes defensed. The Cape Coral, Florida native had three interceptions while with the Gators — all of them coming in 2012.

Watkins ran a 4.41 40-time at the combine. He revealed to Philly reporters Saturday that he was nursing an ankle injury (sustained that the Senior Bowl) when he ran at the combine, which he says slowed him down some.

“I truly believe I would have been the fastest corner, I know that, if my ankle was 100 percent,” he said.

The Eagles brought him in for a visit during the lead-up to the draft.

Kelly isn’t sure whether he will start Watkins out at safety or corner. He plans to work him in at both this spring and will see how it goes.

“One of the things that led us to this pick is his versatility because he has played both. Extremely high football intelligence…He’s played safety, he’s played corner, he’s played nickel. He obviously has the speed to play corner. Sometimes when you’re drafting guys you try to project  that maybe they can be this, but there’s obviously evidence of him playing safety and doing it at a really high level. Could be the quarterback of the defense because of his football intelligence. Just thought that versatility, football character, football intelligence part of it, just thought it was really good value.”

The Eagles were fielding calls for the pick but planned on holding onto it and selecting Watkins unless they received a really nice offer.

Versatility, intelligence and character are three traits that Kelly clearly looks for. Watkins appears to check all three boxes. He was named team captain in-season during Florida’s tumultuous 2013 campaign in which they finished 4-8.

“We were going through a rough time and I think at the time the coaches were trying to find guys who were consistently playing and still fighting through what we were going through, and I was one to take control of the secondary and try to keep us playing,” said Watkins. “I guess because I saw the goal in our unit regardless of what we were going through.”

NFL.com’s take:


Nice size for a cornerback. Good fluidity and movement skills. Alert in zones. Flashes some playmaking ability. Versatile — lines up as a corner, safety and nickel defender and plays on all special teams.


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. Allows separation at break points — late to transition out of his pedal. Too grabby. Selective hitter — shows up in spurts. Not a physical tackler. Tends to propel his shoulder into ball carriers and needs to do a better job securing tackles.

Here is some footage of Watkins from a 2012 game against LSU, courtesy of DraftBreakdown:

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  • Tikkit

    That’s a nice, athletic INT.

  • Will

    Nice pick…descent speed…can play multiple spots…

  • Johnny Domino

    Again with the brother thing, hope this one falls their way.

    • Doctor Jay

      well they got the right color this time…

      • Warhound


  • charlie

    Wtf are they doing picking him over desir. Horrible draft

    • Phifer Fuqua

      Dear Howie and Chip: Please call Charlie before you make another pick. He watches Mel Kiper.

    • WorldPh_ingChamps

      Like you’ve watched a bunch of Lindenwood games and can judge this guy playing against that talent level?

  • Nick C

    “Draft of reaching”- we will see how it pans out. Can’t criticize until we see

  • Rob

    All the complaints about Desir….

    …How many Lindenwood games have you seen?

  • eaglescream

    Another team captain. Chip is building a team not just assembling a bunch of names.

  • Doctor Jay

    That bench tho… fast and strong…

  • Joe Thomas

    What did Buffalo give us for Bryce?

    • Joe Thomas

      Next year four, thats not exciting

      • anon

        conditional, but year not exciting. more people over at iggles btw.

      • Dante Inked UP Lovings

        Yes it is for him it wasn’t like he was a starter besides 4th for a third stream RB is a steal..so you think you he’s worth a 3rd or 2nd?? Lol be satisfied with a 4th

        • Joe Thomas

          A 4th is fine, I would of preferred something this year tho, that would of been more interesting.

  • Will

    a pick next year…

  • Will

    Your score is: 3399 (GRADE: B-)

    Your Picks:

    Round 1 Pick 31 (DEN): Marcus Smith, DE, Louisville (C+)
    Round 2 Pick 22: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt (B+)
    Round 3 Pick 22: Josh Huff, WR, Oregon (D+)
    Round 3 Pick 31 (DEN): Jaylen Watkins, CB, Florida (A-)
    Round 4 Pick 22: Craig Loston, SS, LSU (A)
    Round 5 Pick 22: Chris Boswell, K, Rice (B)
    Round 7 Pick 22: Blake Treadwell, OG, Michigan State (F)

    Guess they grab a RB now that Bryce is gone…

    • anon


    • Dante Inked UP Lovings

      Yes plus Chris Polk coming off surgery on his shoulder

  • jman

    Weakness minimal muscular development, but 94% in bench press. Good to know that’s a weakness

    • TripSquadMonopoly

      Lol I was thinking the same thing…

      • Josh Zuckerman

        That makes three of us. Also did well in the forty. Looks like a safety though. I think the pick.

        • Warhound


    • dnabrice

      “Dude….Do you work out legs???”

  • Philly0312

    Don’t get it…scouting report says he isn’t muscular…..but his bench press is crazy high.

    • borntosuffer

      Is kind of odd. But, what is the difference to being compared to CB vs. S?

  • Will

    Scouting report weak….lol…

  • 1kRider

    FINALLY we draft a CB / S. Been calling for this since Earl Thomas. Too little, too late. But, hopefully he’ll work out.

  • Jeff Asay

    Like this pick for a CB with speed, something Eagles lacked. Needs to drastically improve tackling from the looks of it.