Rookie Brags He’s ‘Fastest’ Player, Eagles WR Challenges Bold Claim

Adrian Killins Jr.

Getty Central Florida RB Andre Killins Jr. could turn into a steal for the Eagles as an undrafted rookie free agent.

Adrian Killins once joked that he invented social distancing with his speed. Now he wants to show his new NFL teammates why.

Killins, an undrafted rookie out of Central Florida, bragged to reporters on Wednesday about being the fastest player on the Eagles’ roster. When reminded about the team’s stable of speed demons and track stars — Jalen Reagor, John Hightower, Quez Watkins, DeSean Jackson, Miles Sanders — he didn’t back down from the bold claim. Killins was a state track champion in high school and was clocked at a blazing 4.39 seconds in the 40 at his pro day. Beat that.

“There are always guys that want to challenge me and think they’re faster than me, but I held the crown all four years at UCF, being the fastest player on the team,” Killins said. “And here at the Philadelphia Eagles, I feel like I’m the fastest player on the team as well.”

He wasn’t joking, although Killins admitted that with great speed comes great responsibility. It’s a delicate balance on the football field where it’s not always effective to go full throttle, at 100 miles per hour, on every single rep. No, it’s more about gauging it and knowing when to turn on the after-burners.

“You got to slow it down, slow it down and speed it up,” Killins said. “You got to gauge your speed here and there. You can’t run 100 miles per hour all the time, just knowing how to use that speed from the track and put it on the field. Certain plays you may have to go full throttle, certain plays you may have to tone it down, gauge it a little bit.”

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Tailback? Receiver? Return Man? Everything

A natural running back, Killins has been working with the wide receivers in recent practices as he attempts to make the Eagles’ 53-man roster.

It’s a crowded room, but the organization has put a huge emphasis on speed and guys like Killins don’t fall from the sky. The 5-foot-7, 165-pounder could be a valuable asset on special teams in the return game, another area where he’s been flashing at camp. He looks a bit like Darren Sproles out there.

“I’ll tell you, I’ve been impressed from the standpoint of his knowledge and understanding. We’ve made him a running back. We’ve made him a receiver. We’ve put him in some tough situations,” head coach Doug Pederson said. “He’s got really good speed and quickness that is definitely, for a guy his size, beneficial.”

The 22-year-old isn’t a dummy. He scanned the depth chart before signing in Philly, knowing what the organization valued and sensing an opportunity there. Despite going undrafted, Killins said he did receive phone calls from a “bunch of teams” but “solely” picked the Eagles based on reputation. And fit, perfect fit.

“I took them solely because I can come in and compete with the best of them and just go earn a spot,” Killins said. “Just being a Philadelphia Eagle and knowing their resume, and knowing what kind of offense they run, and the people they have in their building and what they were trying to do with me.”

Competition for Fastest Guy on Eagles Roster

It’s a bit presumptuous for a rookie to come in and declare himself the fastest guy on the team, right? Maybe not.

Earlier this month, fifth-round pick John Hightower came out and proposed a race to crown the winner, then sixth-rounder Quez Watkins boasted “most likely me” when asked who might win that competition. Fair enough.

On Wednesday, second-year receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside got in on the fun by telling reporters not to count him out. He said Killins needed to race the entire wide receivers room before moving on to the rest of the team, including himself.

“I’d say he’d have to race everybody in the receiver room first before he races everybody else,” Arcega-Whiteside said. “I’d throw everybody in our receiver room, including myself, in the ring. I see a challenge with the whole team.”

Arcega-Whiteside curbed his comment by complimenting Killins. “He can move, though, ain’t going to lie, he can run.”

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