Philadelphia Eagles receiver A.J. Brown might be the most physical receiver in football. DeVonta Smith might be the best route runner. And Quez Watkins is trying to lay claim to being the fastest. He made the bold claim, without any hesitation, following the team’s August 1 practice.
“I’m the fastest guy in the NFL,” Watkins told reporters. “That’s what I believe and I’m standing on that.”
The third-year receiver certainly has a case. Watkins recorded the third-fastest time among all players at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine. He also posted the 14th-fastest time for a ball carrier on a single play in 2021. The latter happened on a 91-yard reception in Week 2. No touchdown, though.
Watkins was clocked at 21.62 miles per hour. What’s funny about the play is the defender chasing him was safety Jaquiski Tartt — his new teammate in Philly — who hit 21.5 miles per hour to stop a touchdown. Either way, Watkins is super-fast.
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Nick Sirianni ‘Gets On’ Watkins at Camp
Head coach Nick Sirianni was heard yelling at Watkins on July 30 after it appeared that he dogged it on one play. The speedy receiver was streaking down the right sideline but couldn’t haul in a nice strike from quarterback Jalen Hurts. Reporters on the scene heard Sirianni shout: “That has to be a touchdown.” It wasn’t.
Sirianni addressed the incident on August 1 and didn’t deny it. He was mad at Watkins and got on him a bit.
“I get on guys at practice. If it’s not the way we want it to be done, I get on them,” Sirianni told reporters. “If it’s the way we want it to be done, we praise them. That to me is how you coach. You got to let them know what you think about each play or the correction is not going to go on.
“We are doing that with every single play. Sometimes my delivery is harsh and sometimes my delivery is with the arm around them. Just whatever I’m thinking at that time.”
Not to worry, there are no hard feelings between the player and coach.
“He knows I can make those plays and that’s what I need to do,” Watkins said. “He lets me know, ‘You’re fast, so you better run.'”
Zach Pascal Remains Out; Jalen Reagor Criticized
All eyes have been on the Eagles’ receivers in recent days. Zach Pascal still hasn’t practiced as he continues to battle a severe case of food poisoning. He tweeted about being in the hospital and missing his teammates. Tough break for a guy expected to compete for the starting slot job.
Meanwhile, Jalen Reagor was generating negative buzz for a bad drop at the August 1 session while “getting outmuscled and outmaneuvered.” The report came from NBC Sports’ John Clark — generally, a reliable source of information — but it was met with an outright denial from Reagor. Did those plays happen? An Eagles Nation poll showed that 72.8% of fans believed Clark over Reagor. Interesting.