Jaylen Watkins   CB   Florida

TALENT BOARD ROUND 3

STRENGTHS
Jaylen plays bigger than his size because of his football intelligence and because he is fearless when he tackles. He has the athletic talents and techniques that are more mature than the average cornerback coming out in any draft. He will come up and support the run quickly and make a tackle on bigger players, but is smart to use good form which will reduce his likelihood of injuries at the next level. He is excellent in zone coverage and handles man coverage because he is fluid and has good quickness. He is strong for his size and will push bigger receivers off their routes and out of bounds if they are not strong enough to handle him. Jaylen works well with the other defensive backs and shows leadership skills through his play on the field. Jaylen reminds me a lot of Jabari Greer who started out as a nickel/dime corner and worked his way into a starting job, but to this day, coaches (because of his size and not his play) look to replace all the time.

CONCERNS
For Jaylen, size is the concern for the draft, but may not be once he is selected and playing. Most teams (early in a draft) will look for bigger defensive backs, but that doesnít mean that he canít play or have impact for the team that selects him. It would be nice to see him with longer arms so that he could defend those fade passes in the end zone, but thatís not going to happen so he will have to figure out what works and use better techniques. My advice is to hit the receiver hard at the line of scrimmage and get the play out of rhythm.

BOTTOM LINE
Jaylen is almost the right size, he is almost stout enough, he almost has the length in his arms, and he almost is fast enough, quick enough and strong enough. In general, Jaylenís measurements are almost what every team is looking for in a starting defensive back. I will tell you this from looking at him on film; Jaylen plays the position the way it is supposed to be played. He has the athletic skills and football intelligence to be a starting cornerback for the team that drafts him. He can come in as your nickel/dime back and trick a quarterback into throwing an interception. He can handle the small slot receivers because he has good strength and techniques to cover them and he can handle those bigger receivers on the outside because he has the strength, is smart and has good cover techniques. His weakness is size in the red zone. Thatís why he might not be your starting cornerback at first, but he should impact as a nickel back who can be used on special teams and impact on both units until someone gets hurt and then Jaylen will get on the field and coaches will than realize how efficient and good this kid is. He will be an asset in the locker room and a captain because he looks on film to be an excellent teammate. Jaylen wonít get drafted early and sometimes these types of players fall through the crack and donít get drafted at all just like Jabari Greer, but they do become core players for your specialty units and starting players who everyone seems to overlook and never give them the credit they deserve. Thatís just the way it is, some things will never change.

Drew Boylhart
MAR/2014