Why Sammy Watkins Must Be Cleveland Browns' Pick at No. 4 Overall

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Why Sammy Watkins Must Be Cleveland Browns' Pick at No. 4 Overall
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

If all goes well for the Cleveland Browns, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will announce wide receiver Sammy Watkins as the newest member of the Dawg Pound and No. 4 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft.

Watkins might be the best skill-position player in the draft—plain and simple. In fact, Watkins just might be the most talented wide receiver to come out of the draft since the Browns traded away the right to take Julio Jones with the No. 6 pick in the 2011.

Ask any Ohio State football fan about Watkins, the Clemson wideout who torched the Buckeyes for 227 yards and two touchdowns on 16 receptions in the Orange Bowl. You probably won't get a pleasant response.

According to Gil Brandt of NFL.com, Watkins was one of the standouts at the NFL Scouting Combine. At 6’1” and 205 pounds, Watkins has exceptional size and speed, making him a dangerous ball-carrier in creative offensive schemes. His explosive speed was on display, as the former Tiger ran an impressive 4.43 40-yard dash at the combine and showed tremendous skills in various drills.

With one look at the video above, you will see that Watkins provides quarterbacks with an outlet for a quick screen while also possessing the ability to beat opposing cornerbacks downfield on a fly route.

In his three seasons at Clemson, Watkins solidified himself as one of the top receivers in the game and became seemingly impossible to guard one-on-one on the outside. Most importantly, though, Watkins has never been afraid to run routes across the middle of the field.

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Watkins, paired alongside Josh Gordon, would help form one of the most dynamic receiving corps in the league.

A legitimate No.1-caliber receiver whom Browns coach Mike Pettine called "special" last week, per Fred Greetham of Fox Sports Ohio, Watkins would be essential in freeing up Gordon and tight end Jordan Cameron in the passing game. In addition, his game-changing ability would morph last season’s 27th-ranked scoring offense into perhaps one of the most potent units in the league.

For rookie head coach Pettine and new general manager Ray Farmer, Watkins represents an opportunity to jump-start an organization that has sputtered since its return to Lake Erie in 1999.

All of that, of course, hinges on the Browns' ability to employ an efficient quarterback.

The Browns' need for a franchise quarterback is undeniable, but the necessity to grab one early might be overrated. While the top three quarterbacks in the draft—Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel—have been highly celebrated in the weeks and months leading up the combine, lesser-known players such as Derek Carr should be available later in the first round, when the Browns pick at No. 26.

No matter the quarterback heading into next season, the Browns would be primed to take the next step in their development if they pair two incredible receivers in Gordon and Watkins.

Watkins told the media at the combine it would be a great idea. Do you agree?

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