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June 13, 2020

Eagles rookie NFL player comparisons: Quez Watkins

During this dead period of the offseason, we've been comparing each of the Eagles' rookies to current or former NFL players. Today we'll take a look at sixth-round wide receiver Quez Watkins.

Previous Eagles rookie player comparisons

Jalen Reagor Jalen Hurts | Davion Taylor
K'Von Wallace | Jack Driscoll | John Hightower | Shaun Bradley

When we looked at John Hightower above, we found a semi-obscure comp in Steve Breaston. With Watkins, we came up with a similarly obscure receiver who played around the same time as Breaston in Bears speedster Johnny Knox. Remember him? First, a look at their measurables:

Measurable Quez Watkins Johnny Knox 
 Height6'0 6'1 
 Weight185 185 
 Arm length32 7/8" 31" 
 Hand size9" 9" 
 40 yard dash4.35 4.29 
 Vertical jump36 1/2" 35" 
 Broad jump 125"122" 
 3-cone7.28 6.81 
 20 yard shuttle4.36 4.24 

As you can see, both players ran blazing 40's. Watkins tested slightly better in the jumps, while Knox fared significantly better in the agility drills.

Knox was a promising young receiver and kick returner for the Bears, but his career was cut short when his back was bent backwards during a collision while diving for a fumble. He required immediate surgery to repair his spinal cord, and never played again. In the three seasons he did play, his numbers were very good:

 Johnny KnoxRec Yards YPC TD 
 200945 527 11.7 
 201051 960 18.8 
 201137 727 19.6 

Knox serves as an example of a Day 3 (fifth round) speed guy from a smaller school (Abilene Christian) who contributed immediately. Watkins, a Day 3 guy coming from Southern Mississippi, won't be expected to make an impact in the regular offense as a rookie, but it can happen.

Here's a highlight reel of Knox. Please excuse the poor quality (were we really that far behind technologically 10 years ago?) and weird music choice:

Obviously, you would expect to see Knox getting behind the defense for long touchdowns, but what really stood out was his ability to go up and high-point balls for a smaller receiver. You see some of the same from Watkins' highlights. In addition to being a speed guy, he also has some contested catch ability:

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