Philadelphia Eagles draft Jaylen Watkins

Two days after watching his younger brother Sammy Watkins go third overall to the Buffalo Bills, older brother and former Gator cornerback Jaylen Watkins heard his own name called when the Philadelphia Eagles selected him with the No. 101 overall pick in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Watkins was the first player selected in the fourth round.

Often overshadowed by Marcus Roberson and Loucheiz Purfioy, Watkins had a terrific offseason beginning with a strong showing at the Senior Bowl. Watkins followed that week up with a good showing at the NFL Scouting Combine and at Florida’s Pro Day.

Watkins was part of the 2010 recruiting class and one of the less heralded recruits in the “best recruiting class ever” but one of the most productive. Watkins played all over the secondary for the Gators during his four seasons and that versatility was attractive to several NFL teams.

He played in all but three games as a freshman — mainly on special teams — but made a real impact starting eight contests as a sophomore, finishing the year with 34 tackles and five pass breakups.

Watkins appeared in all 13 games as a junior, starting 11. He finished the season with 39 tackles, one for-a-loss, three interceptions and eight pass blocks. Watkins made the move from cornerback to safety out of necessity last season — his final in Gainesville — and posted career highs in tackles (52) and tackles-for-loss (2).

Watkins was the second  former Florida player selected in the 2014 NFL Draft following up Dominique Easley and will join fellow former Gator Riley Cooper in Philadelphia.

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Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC


  1. It appears that Roberson, Purifoy and Powell may have got bad advice. They should have stayed in school to improve their draft position. There is a considerable difference in the money and length of career between a higher draft choice and a lower one. Congratulations to Watkins for persevering and being drafted in the fourth round. What I’m really enjoying is seeing the self-proclaimed best quarterback in college football, A.J. McCarron still waiting for the call. I don’t like cocky players and he is one of the worst in that regard.