Eagles news: Quez Watkins earns unfavorable mention

Quez Watkins #16, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Quez Watkins #16, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

As much as we love to hold the Philadelphia Eagles, Howie Roseman, the coaches, players, and everyone else associated with the franchise accountable, we have to give credit when it’s due. Quez Watkins deserves a little of both.

Admittedly, our jury is still in deliberation and trying to come up with a ruling. At times, the former Southern Miss star makes us want to stand up and cheer.

That bomb from Jalen Hurts versus the Minnesota Vikings was a thing of beauty. He also came up with that TD catch versus the Indianapolis Colts when Philly truly needed something good to happen in a game that shouldn’t have been as close as it was. We love that Quez, but it appears that Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde isn’t a work of fiction so much as it is a perfect description of the guy who wears the number 16 jersey.

As good as Quez can be, he can also do things that make us want to throw things at our expensive televisions. Look no further than his effort (or lack thereof) when Dallas Cowboys safety Jayron Kearse wrestled one away from him on Christmas Eve or that huge miscue in the Super Bowl.

Trust us on this one. If you’re a little disappointed, frustrated, or still uncertain about how you value him, you aren’t alone in your theory.

Eagles news: Quez Watkins lands on a list he probably wishes he wasn’t mentioned on.

While enjoying a little free time and combing through the literary offerings of a few publications we’re fans of, we landed on an intriguing read crafted by Bryan Knowles of Football Outsiders. Rather than discuss some of the great throws and snags we saw in 2022, he focused on the failed completions. Unfortunately, Quez Watkins and DeVonta Smith both earned a mention.

Some throws are off-target. Others are great efforts that can occasionally land in the stat book as drops. Either way, incompletions are incompletions.

Knowles takes us on a journey of a different sort with statistics both recent and current for quarterbacks and wide receivers. Surprisingly, only four wide receivers or tight ends collected more failed completions when targeted than DeVonta Smith. Who would have thunk?

No one should panic. We’re just sifting through some numbers here.

According to Knowles, the Slim Reaper was on the receiving end of 23 failed receptions. That ties him with Justin Jefferson. T.J. Hockenson topped the list with 25. Greg Dortch, Tyreek Hill, and Michael Pittman notched 24.

Quez lands on another list, the highest failed reception rate. His 42.4% failed completion rate ranks second in the entire NFL behind Greg Dortch (46.2%). Watkins was targeted 51 times and gathered 33 receptions. Football Outsiders credits him with 14 failed receptions.

While it may seem like we’re giving DeVonta a pass and unfairly condemning Quez, a few things must be acknowledged. Smith has already established himself as one of pro football’s great young wideouts. Watkins has some work to do on that front. Also, DeVonta also lines up versus one of the opposing defense’s top cover guys weekly. Quez, at best, will draw coverage from the third corner. All of that factors in.

The truth about Quez is there are a lot of positives. He’s a burner. Daniel Jeremiah once described his college tape stating he looks like “a speed boat pulling away from canoes”. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of work to do if he’s going to become a complete receiver, and some wonder if he has already shown us all that he is capable of.

Something else about Quez that we enjoy is his humility. He’s focused. He’s still learning, and he’s never attempted to avoid accountability. Upon returning to the NovaCare Complex to clean out their lockers, Watkins was the ultimate professional.

He answered every question. He admitted that there were areas in which he needs to improve, and that type of self-awareness is important. We see no reason why he won’t get the job done moving forward if he continues to apply himself.

In short, sure, we’d like to see Quez’s reception total rise. A decrease in the failed reception rate percentage would be nice too, but again, Watkins already knows that.

He still has support. He knows there are doubters. We’re pulling for him. Year four is going to be a big year, and though the former sixth-rounder isn’t assured of anything, we know he can provide some big plays when he puts it all together.