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Quotes: CB Jaylen Watkins

Posted May 10, 2014

On his thoughts of getting reps at both cornerback and safety: "I did it in college all three years so it’s definitely a great opportunity for me. I’m just really excited to get in and learn and I know that they have a bunch of older guys – I played with (Eagles S) Nate Allen in high school. I’ll definitely be under his wing and he can help me with the safety position and maybe get under one of the other corners that can help me with the corner position."

On whether he is more comfortable at cornerback or safety: "I’m more comfortable at corner, but over the years, I’ve gotten very comfortable at safety and it’s kind of come second-hand. I played it for two years at Florida so it kind of just came. I never played it before, but it just came naturally."

On why he switched back and forth between both positions last season: "Just because of my versatility. I can play the corner position well and I can also play the safety position well and then mostly for the mental aspect. I’m very knowledgeable. I’m one of the few that can handle playing both (positions). I did it in college so that proves I can handle a lot of information at once."

On what he remembers from his visit with the Eagles: "I remember watching film of myself and I was able to correct my mistakes. I had good film but the plays that I did have that were mistakes, or if it was a mistake in that defense, I was able to recognize it and point out what this person should be doing or how the defense was supposed to work. It definitely showed how in-depth I knew my defense and how knowledgeable I was."

On how close he is with his brother and Bills first-round draft pick WR Sammy Watkins: "We’re very close. Today is a very big day for our family. I texted him yesterday before he went on stage and he just texted me and he’s probably going to call me now. We’re both excited for each other. We can’t complain about anything that happened this year for us."

On what led to him being named a captain mid-season last year: "We were going through a rough time and I think at the time the coaches were finding guys who could fit the gameplan and I was still fighting through what we were going through. I was the one who took control of the secondary and wanted to reach our goal which was to get off the field on third down and no touchdowns. I guess it was because I saw the goal in our unit regardless of what we were going through."

On how injuries during the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine affected his pre-draft process: "I wasn’t able to work out, but I ran my 40-yard dash when I was hurt. Then my Pro Day wasn’t as good as I thought it would be because I thought I was 100 percent, but when I got out there, I realized I wasn’t as healthy as I thought I was. I definitely got healthier and was able to work out for some teams afterwards. It definitely slowed me down a little bit after the Combine and the Senior Bowl."

On whether he thought he would’ve been a higher pick if he was healthy during that time: "I truly believe if I was healthy I would’ve ran a faster (40-yard dash) and I would’ve been able to impress teams more throughout the drills. As far as being drafted, I don’t know where I would’ve been. I believe everything happens for a reason so I was picked at this spot for a reason. It was meant to be."

On being praised by Eagles head coach Chip Kelly for his football IQ: "I love to watch film and I commend (Florida head coach Will) Muschamp and (Florida defensive backs coach) Travaris Robinson at the University of Florida for how much they put on my plate. It’s good to go back and see him do it to another guy and watch how he handles it because at first it was kind of rough for me because I didn’t understand my role. Once I understood it and realized how valuable I was to the team, I embraced it. I spent many hours studying and trying to be that guy we can put anywhere and fill a void if we have trouble. It worked out perfectly for me."

On what his 40-yard dash time could’ve been if he was healthy: "I truly believe I would’ve been the fastest corner if my ankle was 100 percent."

On the competition between he and his brother Sammy: "Growing up we always played against each other. I think we played one year on the same level because I was smaller. His team actually beat mine, but we never played against each other. We worked out in the summer during college and everything. We were competitive then, but before or after the play, or after the one-on-one, we coached each other up."

On going up against Eagles second-round pick Jordan Matthews in the SEC and now being a teammate of his in the NFL: "He’s very consistent. I played against him for four years and I think all four years he went over 100 yards on us because he’s very smart. He’s complimentary to me on the offensive side of the ball. He can find the whole in the zones and he’s definitely smart. Like I said, his IQ is on another level."

On how close he is with Eagles safety Nate Allen: "We’re close. His mom actually taught me in 10th grade at my high school and his dad worked there, too. His dad worked with my grandfather in security. I know his family pretty well and I kind of grew up in high school with his family."

On the subject Allen’s mother teaches: "She teaches home (economics)."

On how important it is to be on a team surrounded by smart, intelligent football players: "It’s very big because if you ever look back at teams that win national championships or are very successful, you have a lot of veteran and older guys that have grown in systems and have peaked at the right time. I feel like when you have a bunch of guys with high IQs, have graduated and are mature, they come in with that aspect, are ready to learn and are humble. A lot of those aspects come with that."

On being selected by the Eagles: "I thought I would’ve went a little earlier but I was always watching the Eagles pick. I just didn’t know when they were going to take me. There were a few other teams I was watching, but I woke up this morning and I was very excited. I know Philly is a place I will love to be so I’m watching pick 101 and they called me right before."

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