Jaylen Watkins has 'great football IQ'

June, 23, 2014
6/23/14
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Jaylen Watkins' versatility was attractive to the Philadelphia Eagles.

That was one major reason the Eagles selected Watkins in the fourth round of the NFL draft from the University of Florida.

Watkins played both cornerback and safety for the Gators and excelled at both positions.

Watkins has been working out at cornerback and nickelback with the Eagles through organized team activities. And he has picked up the nuances rather quickly.

"When you talk to him about his defense at Florida, he knew what everybody did," Eagles defensive backs coach John Lovett told the Philadelphia Daily News. "I talked to the defensive coordinator (D.J. Durkin) down there. They put him in at positions that he hadn't even practiced that week because he knew what everybody was doing. He's really got a great football IQ."

Watkins has embraced the task of learning multiple positions on the NFL level.

"I did it at Florida. It's challenging, especially for a new defense, but it's fun," Watkins told the Daily News. "It's all football and everything circles around each other. There's a call back at Florida that I had, I can kind of match it with something here and kind of remember it. It's kind of like a puzzle."

Watkins understands the challenge of earning a roster spot and he’s going to do everything he can to make it happen. The work continues even though training camp is less than five weeks away.

"I think definitely this is a crucial time because when we go into camp it's full speed," Watkins told the Daily News. "That's when the cuts start happening, you've got preseason games coming up and that's when you want to be at your best. So we got a taste of what we'll be getting into out here, got our foot in the playbook a little bit, so it's full speed now when we get into camp."

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