jaylen watkins


florida gators


Size: 5'11, 194



Arm Length: 30 5/8 inch   40: 4.41   Bench: 22 reps   Vertical: n/a   3-cone: N/A   broad: n/a

Shawn's grade: 4th Round Pick: Jaylen Watkins is an experienced, versatile defensive back prospect who offers a complete set of tools to a team at the next level. While is size and length are adequate at best, he owns natural instincts for the position along with the speed, quick feet, and fluidity to be effective in the NFL. Watkins is capable of working in a man or zone coverage scheme. He projects best early on as a nickel or dime back capable of working in the slot, and has enough upside to develop into a serviceable starting cornerback for a team down the road, if given the opportunity.

Bio: Three-year starter with 28 career starts at Florida. Finished his career with the Gators having produced 133 tackles, four tackles for loss, 24 pass breakups, and three interceptions (one returned for touchdown); his best statistical season came in 2012 as a junior when he recorded 39 tackles, one tackle for loss, 11 pass breakups, and three interceptions. Owns a lean frame with room to grow; adequate height and short arms for the position.

Pros: Versatile defensive back with starting experience at both cornerback and safety in college, as well as playing in the slot. Experienced in both man and zone coverage. Rangy corner with ideal size for the position. Shows the technique and straight-line speed needed to operate in man coverage at the next level. Found success working in trail technique off the ball and shows the fluidity and change of direction skills to transition quickly and mirror a receiver down the field. Naturally-instinctive player who had very good on-ball production (27 passes defended) during his career. Shows good eyes for the position with a heady, experienced understanding of how to read the quarterback's eyes when operating in zone coverage before planting and driving on the ball to make a play. Exhibits the ball skills and body control to be an impactful player here at the next level. Does a nice job of extending at the last second to deflect the pass away and has a knack for timing his jumps well. Reliable open field tackler who does not shy away from contact. Steadily produced in defending the run whether it was on the perimeter at cornerback or dropping down from safety. Owns the strength in the upper body to fight off of receivers' blocks before closing down on the ball carrier.

Cons: Could stand to fill out and add weight to his thin frame; short arms for the position. A bit of a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. Will tend to give up too much cushion and at times is a step late when mirroring off the ball and needing to plant and play downhill. Would like to see him continue to refine his technique as a tackler; too often is willing to throw a shoulder at the ball carrier rather than breaking down and wrapping up.

Background: Has no known injury or off-field concerns. Coming out of Cape Coral High School in Florida he was rated as a four-star prospect, the No. 4 cornerback and No. 47 overall player in the country, and the No. 8 player in the state of Florida by Rivals.com; he turned down offers from Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Miami (FL), Ole Miss, and Boston College. Dual-threat quarterback and defensive back in high school who threw for 1,230 yards and 13 touchdowns, rushed for 928 yards and 10 touchdowns, and caught 29 passes for 461 yards and five touchdowns as a senior; tallied 71 tackles and three interceptions defensively as a junior. Also a standout sprinter in track as a prep. Brother of Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins.


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