American Football

Eagles All-22 Film Review: The battle for WR3


Atlanta Falcons v Baltimore Ravens
Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

The Eagles starting slot wide receiver is probably going to be Quez Watkins or Olamide Zacchaeus. With that in mind, I thought I would look at some film and stats from last season and determine who I think should be the starter, based on last season.

The Stats

Numbers via player profiler

The numbers tell you that Zaccheaus had a far more efficient season than Quez Watkins. The big numbers that stand out to me are the yards per route run, target separation, and average target distance. I know numbers are a product of your offense and your quarterback, but Quez Watkins played on a far superior offense, and Zaccheaus looks letter in every metric. Let’s take a look at their 2022 seasons and compare the two. I watched a lot of Quez Watkins prior to this season, and I was really disappointed by how he played this past year. I think he is a better player than he showed last year, but the film is the film!

Quez Watkins

+ Best route is a deep over route from the seam. He excels at this.

+ Really good speed. One of the fastest in the league. He has the speed to get vertical and run away from defenders.

+ He flashed the ability to climb the ladder and win in contested situations in 2021. He shows he can catch the ball and extend away from his body on vertical routes

– Lacks nuance on shorter routes, doesn’t do a good enough job selling the deep routes or closing the gap between himself and the cornerback. He is awful at coming back to the football.

– Seemed to have a few mental mistakes down the stretch, such as running some poor routes.

– He had a disaster catching the football down the stretch last year. He just kept dropping balls that he shouldn’t have.

– Doesn’t have the frame or size to run a lot of quick game stuff, such as slants, curls etc. Contact affects him and nearly all his best plays come from having a free release.

Olamide Zaccheaus

+ He has really good short area burst and quickness. He is pretty good at the line of scrimmage actually and was much better at beating cornerbacks quickly at the LOS than I expected.

+ Runs some really impressive short/intermediate routes where his quickness is on show. He runs really good comebacks, slants, and quick outs.

+ His college reports state that he has terrible hands, but I didn’t see it on film. He can pluck the ball away from his body and seems comfortable catching in traffic too.

+ Has the quickness to break tackles after the catch, especially on shorter routes.

– He’s small at only 5’8. Just simply isn’t going to win in contested situations and he gives the quarterback a very small margin of error.

– He’s fast, but I don’t think he’s a vertical burner. He doesn’t have that speed to run away from defensive backs on deeper routes as consistently has Quez Watkins.


I don’t know if this is a surprise to anyone or not, but I think Zaccheaus and Quez Watkins are completely different profiles. I think Watkins is much more of a field stretcher, a vertical receiver who can stretch the field with go routes and deep over routes, and Zaccheaus is a lot better in the short game. I actually think they could both have a role next year if they play well throughout the offseason and could both feature in different weeks depending on the game plan.

I don’t really understand what happened to Quez Watkins down the stretch last year. I know he suffered a shoulder injury towards the end of the season, and I wonder if that affected him quite a bit. Personally, I think Quez has a slightly higher ceiling than Zaccheaus because he has more vertical juice in his game. However, I can’t forget some of the drops that he had down the stretch, and his play in the short game was awful and it really cost the Eagles. He became almost unplayable towards the end of last season.

If we see the same Quez Watkins that we saw down the stretch, I think this job will go to Zaccheaus and he will have a more productive season and have more playing time. If Watkins can return to 2021 form, I think his ability to really get down the field and his size means he could be in for a bounce-back season. At the very least, Zaccheaus provides the Eagles with a wide receiver #4 and provides legitimate competition for Watkins who did not have any last year and continued to play, despite his poor play.

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