Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins is becoming a popular pick in mock drafts and a fan favorite for the St. Louis Rams. Understandably so, it's been a long time since the Rams had a real difference maker at the position. Of course, there are some arguments for going another direction with that pick, not the least of which is the team's recent investment in receivers, including trading up to the eighth spot in the first round of last year's draft to get Tavon Austin.
Over at Big Cat Country, our Jaguars blog, they had a post today making the case against taking Watkins at the third pick. It's obviously a little different situation for them, given the Justin Blackmon situation there.
Personally, I'm torn. I really like Watkins, and think he's the rare receiver that has the talent to be a real game-changer. I thought the same thing about Austin, and I still do. I'm just not sure what to make of the Rams offensive talent as long as Brian Schottenheimer's got them all catching four-yard dumpoffs in the flat.
One thing that was interesting in that BCC post was the table below, charting the success, or lack of, by receivers taken in the top 10 picks of the first round of the NFL Draft. This is the list of receivers picked in the top 10 from 1993 through 2011. It's definitely a mixed bag.
|1995||8||Joey Galloway||1995||2010||198||175||701||10950||77||Ohio St.|
|1999||6||Torry Holt||1999||2009||173||158||920||13382||74||North Carolina St.|
|2003||3||Andre Johnson||2003||2013||154||154||927||12661||61||Miami (FL)|
|2000||8||Plaxico Burress||2000||2013||148||138||553||8499||64||Michigan St.|
|1996||7||Terry Glenn||1996||2007||137||127||593||8823||44||Ohio St.|
|2007||2||Calvin Johnson||2007||2013||106||101||572||9328||66||Georgia Tech|
|2001||9||Koren Robinson||2001||2008||96||70||294||4244||16||North Carolina St.|
|1999||8||David Boston||1999||2005||75||61||315||4699||25||Ohio St.|
|2009||10||Michael Crabtree||2009||2013||63||61||279||3629||22||Texas Tech|
|2000||4||Peter Warrick||2000||2005||79||60||275||2991||18||Florida St.|
|2007||9||Ted Ginn||2007||2013||104||40||197||2604||11||Ohio St.|
|2005||7||Troy Williamson||2005||2009||49||24||87||1131||4||South Carolina|
|2003||2||Charles Rogers||2003||2005||15||9||36||440||4||Michigan St.|
This also stems back to just a personal philosophy of what I think is worth taking in the Top 10, let alone Top 3 in the NFL Draft. There are a handful of position I would not touch in the Top 10, because I feel the Top 10 should be where you try to find that elite talent at a premium position. That means I look for a pass rusher (can be a linebacker if and only if they are primarily used as a pass rusher), a quarterback or a cornerback (though they need to be elite level prospect). Those are what I would call "premium" positions.
I'm torn on the safety position, because I believe it's trending to the premium side in the modern NFL.