The Eagles have struggled to develop wide receivers for years. They may have finally found their guy: Quez Watkins.
The 23-year-old showed dynamic speed and playmaking abilities in Thursday night’s preseason game against the Steelers – a 24-16 loss. He scored a 79-yard touchdown on a screen pass and nearly added a 98-yard touchdown had Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts not overthrown him.
Hurts thinks the secret is out about his intriguing wideout.
“One thing I was thinking about, though, as I walked up here was [Watkins] isn’t a secret anymore,” Hurts said. “So, that’s unfortunate.”
Watkins was a 2020 sixth round pick out of The University of Southern Mississippi. While he caught only seven passes for 106 yards in his rookie season last year, he scored a 32-yard touchdown on a screen pass against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 15 – similar to his score from Thursday night.
“This whole offseason I just made everything personal,” Watkins said. “Everything people said I couldn’t do. ‘I was only fast.’ I just made everything personal and put the work in.”
The last Eagles wide receiver drafted in the sixth round or later with 500 yards in a season was four-time Pro Bowler Harold Carmichael, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday.
But Watkins is not looking that far ahead – he just wants to be the best player he can be.
“Just being with the short routes still being able to use my speed. Still being able to thread a defender and make everything look like it’s a deep ball,” Watkins said. “Get this team the best opportunities to win games. Just contribute and do my job.”