Fun facts about new Steelers wide receiver Quez Watkins

The Steelers add a speedster from the cross-state Eagles (and boy is he interesting).

Quez Watkins, Pittsburgh Steelers
Quez Watkins, Pittsburgh Steelers / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Are you having fun yet? There's a bit of a buzz growing in the Steel City. As we turned the calendar to March 13th, our Pittsburgh Steelers acquired cornerback Donte Jackson and a 2024 sixth-round draft selection (the 178th overall) from the Carolina Panthers in exchange for wide receiver Diontae Johnson and a 2024 seventh-round selection (pick 240). Things only picked up from there.

Safety DeShon Elliott, linebacker Patrick Queen, and quarterback Russell Wilson were acquired. Kenny Pickett was shipped off, but the Black and Gold traded for Justin Fields to replace him. Punter Cameron Johnston, wide receiver Van Jefferson, and safety Miles Killebrew have joined the flock since then.

There's also been talk of a speedster. The Steelers have reportedly added Quez Watkins from the cross-state Philadelphia Eagles. Did someone say 'hit or miss'?

Here are a few fun facts about new Steelers wide receiver Quez Watkins.

Russell Wilson has some weapons at his disposal. No one will deny that, and for new Steelers offensive coordinator Arthur Smith and new wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni, there's certainly a lump of coal here that can be shaped into a diamond.

Quez was the third of three wideouts taken in the Eagles 2020 draft class.

The Eagles selected three wide receivers in the 2020 NFL Draft: Jalen Reagor, John Hightower, and Quez Watkins. Who would have thought? Quez turned out to be the best of the bunch, but after four seasons, Philly has moved on (more on that in a second).

During his time at the NCAA level, Watkins cut his teeth at the University of Southern Mississippi after turning down offers from over offers from Georgia Southern, Middle Tennessee State, Western Kentucky, and Samford. He stacked two First-Team All-Conference USA nods (2018, 2019) and was selected 200th overall in the 2020 selection meeting.

We love the nickname (though we'll probably never refer to him as such.

Check out Quez Watkins' Pro Football Reference page, and you'll see a rather clever nickname, 'Fast Batman'. Coined by Darius Slay ahead of the 2022 Eagles season, 'Big Play' announced that Philly had 'three guys worthy of wearing the Batman cape and no one worthy of being called 'Robin'.

Quez ran the 40-yard dash in 4.36 second ahead of his entry into the NFL, but it's perhaps Daniel Jeremiah's description of him that takes the cake.

After the announcement of Quez's selection in 2020 on NFL Network, Jeremiah said "He looks like a speed boat pulling away from canoes. Seriously... What can you say after that?

Let's talk about the numbers (and negatives).

Okay, here's the bad news. Available free agents are always available for a reason, and the vibes surrounding Quez following his exit from Philly are, shall we say, less than positive. The belief is, that though he possessed elite speed, he often came up small in big moments.

He's most remembered in Philly for his failures than his successes. Here are a few Eagles fans discuss most often:

  • A beautiful catch on a deep ball in a comeback attempt versus the Washington Commanders in 2022 was fumbled while he tried to get back on his feet and gain extra yardage.
  • His drop on another deep ball in Super Bowl LVII was costly (and memorable) and cost Philly a scoring opportunity.
  • Two game-altering Gardner Minshew interceptions on Christmas Eve in 2022 were the result of bad routes and Quez's failure to fight for the football on contested catches.

In short, the next time, he fights for the football in a 50-50 situation will be the first time it has happened. Let's end this on a positive note though.

Watkins' numbers prove he can excel when given an opportunity. 49 regular-season appearances with 25 starts have resulted in 98 receptions on 147 targets, 1,249 receiving yards, 50 trips past the first down marker, and six trips to the end zone.

He isn't perfect, but he wouldn't have been a sixth-round draft selection if he was. Let's hope he has some big-game potential in him. Pittsburgh and its new-look offense is definitely going to need some.

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