PFF points to Quez Watkins as most intriguing Eagles player to watch during training camp
With Eagles training camp underway, fans everywhere have been glued to their timelines looking for interesting tidbits from each practice.
There are plenty of intriguing storylines to follow throughout camp. The maturation process of Jalen Hurts immediately comes to mind, along with how the newcomers like AJ Brown, Jordan Davis, and James Bradberry are getting acclimated.
Pro Football Focus decided to weigh in on the camp discussions, dropping a piece that laid out the most intriguing players to watch for all 32 NFL teams. In Philly, PFF pointed to wideout Quez Watkins.
“Watkins broke out last season with 43 catches, 647 receiving yards and a 73.6 receiving grade in his first year under coach Nick Sirianni. With A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert taking up most of the attention, the speedy Watkins could have a chance to thrive in a ton of one-on-one opportunities this season.”pff.com
Watkins was the Eagles breakout star in 2021
After catching seven passes for 106 yards as a rookie, he increased his output to 43 receptions for 647 yards (15.0 YPC) and one touchdown. The Southern Mississippi product also averaged 10 yards per target, sixth-highest average in the NFL (minimum 50 targets). He went from an afterthought for most of the 2020 campaign to a focal point of Nick Sirianni’s just one year later.
Even with Brown now in the fold, Watkins’ skill set should still be put to good use in the slot this season. His speed is his calling card and he knows it. On Tuesday, Watkins didn’t hesitate when declaring himself the fastest player in the NFL.
“I’m the fastest guy in the NFL,” he told reporters. “That’s what I believe and I’m standing on that.”
Per NFL’s Next Gen Stats, the fastest speed Watkins reached in 2021 was on his 91-yard bomb against the 49ers in Week 2 where he reached 21.62 MPH. That mark came in as the 14th-highest speed that any player hit last season.
Utilizing that kind of speed from the slot will be dangerous in 2022, especially with two bonafide outside receivers in Brown and DeVonta Smith alongside him. The Eagles passing game struggled to stretch the field last season, with only six teams posting fewer 30-yard completions. That obviously has to get better this season and Watkins should play a big role in it.
Watkins’ development from a sixth-round project to an unquestioned starter just two seasons into his career has been very encouraging. At just 24 years old, he’s only scratching the surface of his potential. Even with all the weapons at Hurts’ disposal, expect Watkins to continue having a profound impact.
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