Where oh where do I start. The long awaited post dedicated strictly to Watkins. Lets get this out of the way right now the guy has some serious EXPLOSIVENESS.
Now that we have gotten that out of the way let's get down to it. We have got to stop calling this kid elite. Not one thing about his game is elite (with the exception of his burst). His top end speed is not ELITE. His hands are not ELITE. His Power is not ELITE. His routes are not ELITE. Sammy Watkins is not ELITE.
Okay, so that should be clear now. Well this is how I really feel about Watkins. I like him. And with every passing week I like him more than the week before. I still stand by my comparison to Chris Givens. Anyone who does not see it is crazy. Like I said in my scouting report Watkins is a more consistent Givens. If Givens played at a school that had t he national attention that Clemson has, than he would have had the same hype. They were the same exact player in college. Both guys ran a lot of post and fly routes, but caught the majority of their balls on screens. Watkins has Givens beat on burst, but Givens has him in top end speed, so it really kind of balances out. The two are very similar in size. Watkins did have better and more consistent QB play though.
So its not the fact that Watkins is fast and is a homerun threat for me personally. We have that in Givens (and Tavon Austin) already. I like his approach and maturity. I have tried and tried to find a bad report on this guys character and approach but can't find one. He knocks every single interview out of the park. His most recent one on NFL Network's Path to the Draft, was spectacular. When they asked him what team would you want to play for, I loved his answer.
"Really, all I want to do is go somewhere where they have a good quarterback and good program, and a veteran receiver I can learn the ropes from."
Perfect!!!!!! Absolutely perfect!!! The best part by far is the last tid bit, "a veteran receiver I can learn the ropes from". Sammy has had endless reports speaking of his work ethic and dedication. He says all the right things and when not one person speaks poorly of you and agrees with everything said about you, that is called a flawless report. Even better is the fact that he always mentions Deandre Hopkins as a big reason for his work ethic, preparation, and approach. This is huge to me because i found countless reports giving glowing reviews of Hopkins work ethic and his love for catching balls from the machine, as well as running routes alone. If Watkins has truly picked up these traits from Hopkins, and all reports and interviews says he has, than he has the chance to be special. The reason being, even though he is not an ELITE talent, he is def better than the average Wide receiver. Lets look at it like this. One is the best talent level, and five is the lowest.
- Better than good
- Will suffice
- Not enough
Sammy to me is the highest level of a 2 as there is. Givens is a strong 2, whereas Watkins is just barely on the edge of moving to the next level. I would say Hopkins is a three. Again this is based off of talent, and Watkins is more consistent than Givens, but with Hopkins' work ethic. I believe Hopkins is a future multi-pro bowler. He has an insane work ethic to master his craft, and he gets to learn from one of the best receivers the NFL has seen in the last 25 yrs. This is great news for Watkins, because if Hopkins is a future multi-pro bowler, than Watkins who is clearly a better talent has to be a future all pro.
It is things like this that I talk about often and its for that reason. I love work ethic and players who know and/or are willing to learn all the nuances of the game, and master their craft. The better the skill of the player who does this, the better the career. So in a nutshell, I believe Watkins will have a very good NFL career. He currently sits at number one overall for my receiver rankings of this draft class, but second/third on my list of favorite receivers;
- 1A. Kelvin Benjamin
- 1B. Jordan Matthews
- 2. Sammy Watkins
- 3. Brandin Cooks
- 4. Jared Abbrederis
- 5. Devante Adams
I think Watkins will bring a contagious work ethic to the receiver position. Put him with Stedman Bailey, another workaholic who looks to master his craft, and this receiver core will be outworking everyone.
Watkins physical talent is better than most, but is not ELITE. What is elite is his perceived work ethic and professionalism. With that being said I would welcome him to St. Louis with open arms, IF, he was drafted by the Rams. But if it comes down to taking him or someone else at #2 overall I say someone else. He has talent and I love his work ethic, but his position is not as big of a need as people want to think, and we don't exactly have a good OC for the passing game. The only way I am going to willingly ask for a receiver at number two, or even the top five to be honest, is if that receiver is the same talent level of A.J. Green, Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, or Larry Fitzgerald. These guys were all top five picks, and top five for a reason. The reason being because they had to the talent to go #1 overall. In other words they were all arguably the best players in the draft, regardless of position. I don't feel like Sammy Watkins is the best talent in this draft regardless of position. He is a good, but I don't see top 5. Again I would welcome him with open arms if he was brought in regardless of the pick, but I would not request it nor expect it.