The Philadelphia Eagles kicked off the third day of the 2014 NFL Draft by selecting Florida Gators cornerback Jaylen Watkins, and it’s interesting to see that Sammy Watkins’s half-brother was picked ahead of teammate Marcus Roberson, who is generally regarded as one of the top players left in the draft.
Jaylen Watkins is a bit like Florida State safety Lamarcus Joyner in that he is a hybrid player who can play at either cornerback or safety, and that’s exactly the kind of player the Eagles like. They signed Malcolm Jenkins in free agency to be their starting free safety, and he’s a former converted corner. Watkins can bring that kind of versatility to the Eagles defensive backfield.
The Eagles took two wide receivers yesterday in a strong second day of the draft, and both Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff are talented players who will boost an already-strong Eagles offense. But it was critical for the Eagles to land an impact player on defense, and Watkins is speedy defensive back who runs a low 4.4s forty and has the upside to make a solid impact as a rookie. The Eagles showed plenty of interest in him in the pre-draft process, and he’ll probably play CB for them as a rook.