CB JAYLEN WATKINS, FLORIDA

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6’0” – 188 lbs. – 4.45e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2010: 8 – 0.0 – 0.0, 1 PD
2011: 34 – 1.0 – 0.0, 5 PD
2012: 39 – 1.0 – 0.0, 8 PD, 3 INT (1 TD)

OVERVIEW:

Contributed in a reserve/special teams capacity as a freshman in 2010, primarily playing gunner. Began his sophomore season as a reserve but eventually made eight starts, including the final six, playing some safety. Started eleven of the thirteen games in which he appeared in 2012. Shifted back to safety in 2013.

STRENGTHS:

•    Will graduate with three years of quality experience in the SEC.
•    Has the height and length of a boundary cornerback in the NFL.
•    Quality hips and flexibility, does a nice job of changing directions.
•    Closes well once he’s diagnosed the play, impressive acceleration.
•    Effective ball skills, does a nice job of getting his hands on passes.
•    Soft hands, can make the interception when in position to do so.
•    Possesses average coverage instincts, decent play recognition.
•    Transitioned to safety in 2013, potentially increasing appeal to teams.
•    Contributed as a gunner in the past, fast enough to reprise role in pros.

WEAKNESSES:

•    Has a very thin build, could stand to gain additional weight/bulk.
•    May not be strong enough to press pro receivers effectively at the line.
•    Sometimes guilty of trying to make the big hit rather than wrapping up.
•    Not great at taking on blocks vs. the run, can be steered out of the way.
•    May not be a fit for all schemes, profiles best as a man-coverage corner.
•    Despite playing safety in 2013, may not be a great fit there in the pros.

SUMMARY:

Watkins has bounced around in Florida’s secondary, playing some cornerback (primarily in 2012) and some safety (most notably this season) as a function of the Gators’ deep secondary, enhancing his value. He is a smooth athlete with the speed and fluidity to play on the outside in the NFL, but doesn’t profile as the type of cornerback who will draw significant interest from teams looking for a zone cover corner who can take on blocks in the run game. Developmental boundary reserve. RD 4-5

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