NFL Draft

UAB Wide Receiver Austin Watkins Says He Had Pre-Draft Conversation With WRs Coach Ike Hilliard

Austin Watkins

UAB wide receiver Austin Watkins says he’s had a pre-draft phone call with Steelers’ WR coach Ike Hilliard. And a good one, at that.

During his Pro Day press conference, Watkins said he really enjoyed talking to Hilliard. He said they didn’t talk a lot of football, and the conversation was more about getting to know each other.

In seven games last season, Watkins, listed at 6’3, 210 (we’ll get official Pro Day numbers soon), caught 34 passes for 468 yards and three touchdowns. His best season came two years ago in 2019, racking up nearly 1,100 yards on 57 receptions, an average of 19.2 yards per catch, with six touchdowns.

Senior Bowl Director Jim Nagy passed along Watkins’ workout numbers. Listed at 6’1/4″, 209, he ran in the 4.5’s with a 31.5 inch vertical and 9’8″ broad. He also put up 18 reps on the bench press.

Austin is also the cousin of Sammy Watkins, who signed with the Baltimore Ravens earlier in the offseason.

Watkins is currently slated as a later Day 3 pick, mocked anywhere between Rounds 5-7. That could be the range where the Steelers are looking for a receiver.

We hope to have a complete scouting report on him before the draft kicks off later this month. Pro Football Network’s scouting report grades him as a big-bodied receiver with good hands, but questioned his overall speed.

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