Sammy Watkins   WR   Clemson

TALENT BOARD ROUND  1

STRENGTHS
Sammy has that combination of speed and quickness that will make him a matchup nightmare and an impact player for the team that drafts him. He is very strong and shows on film good hands to catch the ball in any kind of weather. Sammy likes to make a play that breaks the game open at the same time he is an excellent teammate and does a solid job blocking for his teammates on sweeps and screens when his number is not called. Sammy has excellent run after the catch skills and is strong enough and has the balance to break tackles and gain more yards after the catch. He has strength in both his upper and lower body and this will serve him well at the next level to limit injuries. Sammy is the type of receiver that likes the ball given to him quick and although his is adept at catching the deep ball, he excels at catching the quick pass and making yards after the catch. He can run all the routes and is smart enough to play more than one receiver position, inside or out. He is a smooth operator.

CONCERNS
Sammy has had some off field issues and was suspended from the team. He said he was sorry he embarrassed his teammates, coaches, and the university for “getting caught”. He also has a problem catching the ball when he has to extend his arms on short passes and passes over the middle. On deep passes behind the safeties, this is not a problem. Teams will have to do their homework and decide if Sammy is a potential #1 receiver or just an impact receiver.

BOTTOM LINE
An impact receiver is just that -- a player who can score points and break a game open with a return on special teams and make a defense account for him. When you need to make a first down to move the chains or have to throw him the ball for a go ahead touchdown, they seem to be the player the QB or coaches goes to. There are a lot of impact receivers in the NFL, that once they score a touchdown, they seem to disappear for the rest of the game. Sammy has the potential to be a #1 receiver because of his strong body, speed, football intelligence and the fact he does a very good job blocking. The problem is that Sammy doesn’t make the tough catch going over the middle in traffic and until he shows on film that he can do that, he will not be a #1 WR, but still will be an impact receiver. If your team needs an impact receiver to go along with your #1 receiver then drafting Sammy in the first round is a no brainer. But, if your team is looking for a #1 receiver who will go over the middle and move the chains making a tough catch with a cornerback hanging all over him, I suggest you look for someone else. Sammy is no Wes Welker. He is not that style of receiver, but he is the type to scare a defense and score points, just not when the game is on the line. I would draft him in the first round and use him in the slot and on the outside deep in my own territory, but in the red zone? Not sure he is up to the task; however, I’ve been wrong before.

Drew Boylhart
Dec/2013