The Buffalo Bills did everything they could to make sure they got Sammy Watkins.
After the first three teams made their picks, the Cleveland Browns were on the clock at No. 4. However, the Bills mortgaged their future to move up from No. 9, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com:
Buffalo decided to use the pick to grab one of the top players in the entire class in Watkins.
The wide receiver posted big numbers throughout his career at Clemson, but his game projects to be even better at the next level. Former head coach Brian Billick makes an interesting comparison:
Watkins has Percy Harvin-like ability. His football speed is even faster than his 4.43 40-time & he is obviously the head of this WR class.— Brian Billick (@CoachBillick) May 9, 2014
Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com had a similar thought while appreciating the deal the Bills made:
On the other hand, Bleacher Report's Michael Schottey makes a different comparison to a receiver who has had quite a career:
Sammy Watkins=Reggie Wayne. He’ll be darn good in the NFL, even if he’s an inch shorter than some guys on a chart.— Michael Schottey (@Schottey) May 9, 2014
ESPN's Chris Mortensen notes that he was considered by some to be the best player in the draft at any position:
Bills trade up to the #4 pick. Selecting Sammy Watkins #BUFPick One GM I spoke to thoroughly believed he was the best player in this draft— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) May 9, 2014
There is little question that he will be able to fit well with the Bills. One person who was excited right away was quarterback EJ Manuel, via Mortensen:
Reaction to Watkins coming to Buffalo RT @EJManuel3 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) May 9, 2014
C.J. Spiller is also happy to hear about his newest teammate, via Josina Anderson of ESPN:
Just talked to CJ Spiller about Sammy Watkins. He told me, "I am so excited to have a guy that went to my University. It means a lot.— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) May 9, 2014
Jamele Hill of ESPN points out how much Watkins will help the young quarterback in his second year:
Like what the Bills did there. That's a helluva weapon for EJ Manuel.— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) May 9, 2014
Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com and the Sports Illustrated Twitter account both note the weapons that the team will have offensively next season:
The Bills LOVE Robert Woods! They have a studly young combo of WR's now. Sammy Watkins can score from anywhere.— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) May 9, 2014
Between Sammy Watkins, Marquise Goodwin and CJ Spiller (if he stays healthy), the Bills have a pretty good group for EJ Manuel to work with.— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) May 9, 2014
Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports believes this will lead to good things:
Bills may have something going on offensively. Like it.— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) May 9, 2014
As far as whether Watkins will enjoy himself, this seems to be the best-case scenario for the receiver, according to Albert Breer of NFL Network:
Sammy Watkins grew up a Bills fan, pretty awesome.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) May 9, 2014
However, Breer also points out that this addition might be the end of the Bills career for another player at the position:
Bills get Sammy Watkins to pair with Mike Williams and Robert Woods. Help for EJ Manuel. Stevie Johnson gotta be on the block now.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) May 9, 2014
It remains to be seen what will happen to Stevie Johnson going forward. If he stays, the squad will have another talented player for Manuel to throw to, but it also might be too crowded at the position now.
Either way, Watkins has loads of talent and he is likely to make a contribution right away. Of course, he now has a lot to live up to after the team gave up multiple future picks to bring him to town. Only time will tell if he can reach this potential.
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