Breaking Down Sammy Watkins and His 2014 NFL Draft Prospects

Ryan GauleCorrespondent IMarch 12, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 23: Former Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins runs the 40-yard dash during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 23, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

It's that time of year again in the National Football League, as rumors start flying as to where each prospect will land in the draft.  For Sammy Watkins, there are plenty of potential suitors, as his explosiveness from the line leads to an open target down field. 

According to CBS Sports, the 20-year-old out of Clemson is the top-ranked wide receiver going into the draft, which will be commence on May 8 in New York. 

In 2013 with the Clemson Tigers, Watkins torched defenders all season long, compiling an outstanding 101 receptions and 12 touchdown receptions in 13 games.  He also averaged 14.5 yards per reception, showing his ability to get down the field for big gains. 

With his high potential, there is reason to believe the following teams will consider drafting Watkins in the first round of the draft.


St. Louis Rams

The Rams own the second and 13th picks in the first round of the draft this year, and drafting Watkins would be a huge upgrade to a team that hasn't made the playoffs since 2004. 

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 08:  Wide receiver Tavon Austin #11 of the St. Louis Rams runs with the football during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 8, 2013 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeate
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

In the 2013 NFL Draft, the Rams selected receiver Tavon Austin in the first round, and he showed his explosiveness in his rookie season last year.  In 13 games, Austin had 40 receptions, with four of them coming as touchdowns catches. 

Adding Watkins would set up a dangerous receiving corps for St. Louis, as both men are expected to blossom into solid wide receivers in the NFL. 


Cleveland Browns

Once again, the Cleveland Browns will have another high draft pick in 2014, and giving Watkins the chance to play with wide receiver Josh Gordan would give the Browns one of the best receiving corps in the league. 

According to Tom James of the Cleveland Browns, Watkins said, " I’d kind of take some pressure off him with double coverage and them flipping the coverage to his side. It would become a nightmare (for opponents) for us to match up with each other." 

Still, the reality is that Cleveland will likely draft a quarterback with the fourth overall pick in the draft, as Dustin Hockensmith of The Patriot News reports. 


Detroit Lions

After a disappointing 2013 season in which Detroit finished 7-9, the Lions will have the 10th overall pick in the draft. 

If Watkins is still available, adding Watkins would be a tremendous upgrade to an offense that already features quarterback Matthew Stafford and the great wide receiver Calvin Johnson.  With Watkins, the Lions would have one of the best 1-2 punches in the wide-out slots in the league. 

According to Justin Rogers of Michigan Live, Watkins responded to the question of how it would feel playing alongside the best receiver in football (Johnson) by saying, "I could get in the film room with him and he could break things down. The transition would be much easier."  

According to Bleacher Report's Matt Miller, the Lions are serious about moving up in the draft to select Watkins.   

If he remains undrafted when the Lions are called upon to select their player, Watkins would be the guy to go with. 


New York Jets

The Jets have an outside chance at landing Watkins, as they have the 18th pick in the first round of the draft.  However, if they were to trade up for a higher pick, drafting Watkins would be a smart move. 

Was there any team in football that needed a dominant receiver as much as the Jets did last season? 

With little production from the receiving corps, the Jets managed to finish 8-8 in 2013.  Rookie quarterback Geno Smith struggled often in his first season, but he showed signs of growth in the final two games of the regular season.   

The Jets are in dire need of improving on offense, and in their case, it starts with a reliable receiving corps to help Smith continue to grow. 

While it is unlikely that Watkins will make it to the 18th pick in the draft, the Jets would be smart in trading up to land this guy. 


No matter where Watkins goes, he will bring great potential to the table, as he is widely regarded as a tremendous all-around athlete. 

*All Statistics Courtesy of Pro Football Reference and CBS Sports