For Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, close games are trends that date back to the earliest days of his coaching career. This past season, the close games often correlated with the secondary’s struggle against vertical passing offenses. This became a core need in the offseason. The Eagles knew that with their position in the draft, they would need to potentially look to the later rounds in order to strengthen their roster.
Kelly loves filling his roster with multi-faceted players. GM Howie Roseman was well aware of this, and looked to select players that can play multiple positions and roles in the 2014 NFL Draft. Florida’s Jaylen Watkins fits this model perfectly.
At 6 feet tall, 194 pounds, Watkins played all over the secondary in his tenure at UF, playing both corner and safety. He seemed most comfortable at cornerback as 22 of his 28 starts were at the position. He will likely see time at the nickel corner spot to assist a secondary that, albeit young, finished at the basement of the league in passing yards allowed per game.
Roseman saw a lot of potential in the Florida product and believes he can play multiple positions during the season. Mid-round selections are often overlooked initially, but there have been numerous occurrences when teams strike gold in later rounds. Watkins has the potential to play all over the secondary this season, and can help mitigate the nagging issues the Eagles have had against the pass in recent years.