Austin Watkins 2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Name: Austin Watkins Jr

College: UAB

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 207 lbs

Overall Rank: No. 159

Position Rank: WR22

Strengths: The cousin of NFL wide receiver Sammy Watkins, Austin Watkins Jr. looks ready to compete at the NFL level. He has a well-built frame that he isn’t afraid to throw around and good overall athleticism for his size. Watkins has multiple examples on tape of him extending across all planes of motion to pluck passes out of the air. He has reliable hands that can disassociate from his feet and hips with ease, allowing him to secure catches that might otherwise look to be incomplete. Watkins transitions to a ball carrier after receptions with ease and should do well to secure additional yardage in the NFL. 

Weaknesses: On tape, Watkins needs to develop as a more versatile route runner. He impressed with smooth routes at the Senior Bowl, but winning 1-on-1s is different than winning individual matchups with two full teams on the field. Watkins can win down the field but he doesn’t have the ability to hit the turbo button and separate if he hasn’t won initially in his vertical stem. In the same vein, there’s a tendency to pull up on plays that aren’t coming his way or aren’t ideal targets. The effort isn’t terrible, just fairly inconsistent and rookies don’t get away with taking plays off as they try to earn roster spots.

What I Love: He has an impressive blend of physicality with soft hands that make him a dangerous weapon in contested catch situations. He’ll overpower defenders but he’s more than just a brute. 

NFL Comparison: Keelan Cole

Grade: 64/100

Position Specific Traits:
(key: +, ++, +++ positive scale | -, - -, - - - negative scale)

Agility: +
Big Plays: +
Hands: +
Jumping: +
Route-Running: +
Speed: +
Strength: ++