Quez Watkins would describe his 2022 season as underwhelming. So would the Philadelphia Eagles.
Watkins was once considered one of the ascending players on the Eagles roster after a 2021 season which he had 43 catches for 647 yards, averaging 15.7 yards per catch. Those numbers significantly dipped in 2022, as Watkins finished with 33 catches for 354 yards -- a career-low 10.7 yards per catch.
Yes the Eagles did add A.J. Brown, making him and DeVonta Smith the primary targets at wide receiver. Watkins was supposed to be the explosive third wideout, yet was anything but that after a 53-yard touchdown catch against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2.
So what exactly happened with Watkins as the season progressed?
"I would say the opportunity, I would say the difference this year and last year was opportunity," Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said at the NFL Owners Meetings this week. "He didn't have as many opportunities. We tried to be up front about that as much as we can....So I think what he was probably frustrated with is that he didn't make the amount of plays that he made last year."
Watkins didn't provide the explosive plays as frequently, while becoming a liability on the field. He was responsible for a Jalen Hurts interception in Week 15 against the Chicago Bears and two of Gardner Minshew's interceptions in a Week 16 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, plays which Watkins either ran a poor route or didn't fight hard enough for the ball.
Then there was the fumble in Week 10 against the Washington Commanders that cost the Eagles points in an eventual loss. The final nail in the coffin was the Super Bowl drop which Watkins misread Jalen Hurts' deep ball and failed to come up with the reception. The Eagles hit a field goal later in the drive, but that drop would have have been a touchdown in what was then a 24-21 Eagles' lead (the Eagles lost 38-35).
Watkins admitted he was disappointed in how his season went at the end of the year. The Eagles still believe Watkins can be a valuable No. 3 wide receiver for them in 2023, even if they bring in competition in free agency or the draft.
"I know Quez wanted to make some of the plays that he felt like he didn't," Sirianni said. "I think also what he's saying there is he's taking ownership and accountability of him getting better and not looking at anybody else, and that's what you want from your team."
The pressure is on Watkins to perform in 2023.