Data Scout Notes: 2013: BiletnikoffFinalist/1stC/WCamp2nd/1stM...P1stM/PWCamp/PBiletnikoff/PMaxwell/PHornung/DS#2PSTeamProspect-DBrugler/TSX-PTW/PJet...2012: HMC/HMM...08-03-12 - Suspended first 2 games of 2012...POPOYM/P1stM/PWCamp/PMaxwell...2011: OROY/1stM-WR/2ndM-KR/BiletnikoffAdd
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Draft Scout News
07/23/14 - WR Sammy Watkins has already created a buzz at camp with several big-time plays. Wednesday, he made a dazzling one-handed catch on a slant route after slipping coming out of his cut. On Monday, he made a couple sparkling plays that had the crowd roaring its approval.
"As a coach, you have expectations, but he's performed better than I would've expected," said coach Doug Marrone. "I say that, because I don't think I've really ever appreciated the maturity of the kid. I think when you look at that you can understand why he's the way he is."
05/19/14 - Granted, it's the offseason and WR Sammy Watkins has yet to absorb any NFL-style contact, but there was no hint of buyer's remorse as the Bills wrapped up its rookie minicamp Monday.
"I thought after having watched him now for a couple days, my assessment of him is that he probably has better hand eye coordination than I thought coming into it," said Bills head coach Doug Marrone. "I'm excited to see him. Again, I think for me the big thing, and I've always been this way and said this before when (the media has) been around, I really look forward to when the pads come on and we start playing football and really evaluating people then."
Watkins was the top-rated wide receiver in the 2014 class by NFLDraftScout.com, and is considered a dynamic playmaker who can take the ball behind the line of scrimmage and be a threat to score or take the top off a defense with his straight-line speed.
One of the few knocks on him coming out of college was Watkins' somewhat lackluster sophomore season, which was sandwiched between a phenomenal freshman effort and an outstanding junior year. Watkins admitted after the draft that his drop off in 2012 could largely be chalked up to being young and not fully focused on building on his freshman season.
Watkins said all the right things after being drafted by the Bills, and has backed it up early on with his work ethic at the team's headquarters.
"Someone told me today that he was in here at like 6:45 running routes on air," said Marrone. "I think those are the things you want to hear. You want to hear about that. You don't want to leave anything to chance and you just want to make sure the performance on the field proves whether you're good enough or you're not good enough."
05/12/14 - A closer look at the Bills picks: Round 1/4 -- Sammy Watkins, WR, 6-1, 211, Clemson...The Bills made a bold move to go up and get him at Cleveland's spot, and it cost them a first-round pick in 2015, but he was clearly their highest-rated player on the board. Just as important, he fills a need as the Bills have lacked a dominant, go-to receiver. Watkins had dazzling freshman and junior seasons, while his sophomore year was interrupted by a two-game suspension due to a marijuana possession charge. Watkins learned from that mistake and returned to first-team, All-America status as a junior, after being just the fourth first-year freshman to earn first-team status. He finished his career with 240 catches for 3,391 yards and 27 touchdowns. He will very likely start on opening day, especially now that Stevie Johnson has been traded. - The Sports Xchange
05/12/14 - Bills move up to snag WR Watkins...By making this move, Whaley sounded the warning siren. Nothing less than a playoff berth will be expected, and if that happens, then the first-round pick the Bills gave away in 2015 won't be a coveted one. "We want to make the playoffs, so being 14 (years) and not making the playoffs, that is the tradeoff we expected," Whaley said in reference to mortgaging part of the future to go up and get Watkins. "It's a very high cost, but we thought it was a calculated risk and one we were willing to take. The high cost of not making the playoffs is something we weighed and we thought this guy is going to get us to the playoffs. We thought it was well worth it." It sounded like a guarantee, but Whaley said, "That's not a guarantee; I'm saying we expect it to be low. I'm a competitor, call me crazy, I like those odds."
Watkins was widely considered the most polished and NFL-ready wide receiver in the draft. He caught 101 passes for 1,464 yards and 12 touchdowns last year for Clemson, and during his three-year career totaled 240 catches for 3,391 yards and 27 touchdowns. His greatest strengths are his speed (4.39 seconds in the 40), his ability to play bigger than his size thanks to a physical frame and a 34-inch vertical leap, and his tremendous run after catch skills. "I think I bring a lot to the table," said Watkins. "You're going to get a great citizen, a hard player, a guy that loves the game, a guy that understands the game, and understands the power of preparation. I think if I keep doing what I've been doing at Clemson, it will translate to the NFL." - The Sports Xchange
05/12/14 - Bills move up to snag WR Watkins...Speculation was rampant in the days leading up to Thursday's opening round that the Buffalo Bills were a team to watch in the 2014 NFL Draft. And when Jacksonville passed on wide receiver Sammy Watkins in favor of quarterback Blake Bortles at No. 3, the Bills made a fast call to Cleveland and negotiated a deal to swap first-round spots -- No. 9 to No. 4. The big jump came with a big price tag. The Bills gave the Browns their first-round pick in 2015 and a fourth-rounder for a chance to draft the best wideout available. "We went into this draft saying we were going to be bold and we made a bold move," said team president Russ Brandon. "We're very excited about what just happened. Sammy Watkins was a player who was very, very high on our board and someone who could contribute immediately." Bold is an understatement.
It would have been very easy for the Bills to stay put and select North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron, who ended up going to the Lions at No. 10. Instead, they went after the most skilled offensive player in the draft, a dynamic playmaker who instantly upgrades a passing game that ranked 28th last season. "This game is about making plays and surrounding our quarterback with playmakers," said general manager Doug Whaley. "He's automatically going to make our quarterback better. We want to surround EJ Manuel with every possible weapon we can to help us get to where we need to go." - The Sports Xchange