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Quez Watkins’ Speed Turns Heads at Steelers OTAs

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Pittsburgh Steelers WR Quez Watkins

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Quez Watkins made some noise on Day 3 of Steelers’ OTA’s, as he confirmed that he caught a 50-yard moonball from Russell Wilson. On the play, Watkins torched the defense for a would-be touchdown.

Watkins is a speedster. He ran a 4.35-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine coming out of Southern Mississippi University in 2020. In a crowded receiver room, Watkins’ blazing speed could set him apart from the rest of the bunch.

“Honestly, I really wasn’t focused (which DB) it was on; it was just really getting that connection with Russ,” Watkins said. “We talked about it earlier. At the end of the day we are just trying to hit that, get connections. That (deep completion) is what he (Wilson) has been doing his whole career, and I am ready to be one of his guys.”

Pittsburgh Steelers Quez Watkins

From Week 10 of the NFL Season featuring the Washington Commanders at the Philadelphia Eagles from Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 14, 2022. (All-Pro Reels / Joe Glorioso)

Watkins is well-aware of Wilson’s vintage deep ball, and that factor played a part in why he signed with the Steelers after playing four seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.

“That’s what he’s been doing his whole career, and I’m going to be one of his guys,” Watkins said.

“I seen what Russ did with guys like Tyler Lockett, D.K. [Metcalf] and guys like that. Tyler Lockett is a deep threat and [Wilson] puts those balls in a great spot, and it’s something that I need.”

Watkins hopes he can be a deep threat for Wilson in the Steelers’ offense. In Philadelphia, Watkins averaged 12.7 yards per reception and had touchdowns from 43, 91 and 53 yards out. He also had a 79-yard catch-and-run touchdown against the Steelers in a preseason game in 2021.

“That’s definitely a part of my game that I want to continue to display,” Watkins said about being a deep threat. “And I’m going to show everything else that I can do.”

Nick Farabaugh contributed reporting from Pittsburgh.