Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins opted to forgo his senior season with the Tigers, instead deciding to declare for the 2014 NFL Draft, where he’s been projected to be picked as high as No. 3 overall to as low as No. 12 overall.
Sammy Watkins, due to his unique combination of strength, length, ball skills, body control, speed and agility, makes him the best wide receiver in the draft.
In his three years with the Tigers, Hopkins was the recipient of 240 passes that went for 3,391 yards, both setting Clemson all-time records. His 27 touchdowns tied his good friend and former Tiger, DeAndre Hopkins’ record, who was selected in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans.
Watkins is the most exciting offensive player I’ve watched in the past four years that I’ve been following NFL Draft prospects. The 6’1” 205 pounder is a master of all the traits you look for in an ideal No. 1 wide receiver in the National Football League.
Watkins’ long arms give him one of the biggest catch radius’ in college football, meaning that he often has a better chance of being able to extend for passes better than a fellow receiver who may be several inches taller.
While many young prospects don’t fully utilize or realize how to use their natural gifts, Watkins does.
Take a look at what Watkins did in this clip against Florida State.
Watkins beat the defensive back off the line with a quick slant and was ready for the ball to hit him in stride. However, Tajh Boyd, a notoriously poor accuracy quarterback, threw the ball behind Watkins. Watkins’ insane body control allowed him to stay balanced, do a 180 degree turn to secure the ball and make the score.
In this day and age, wide receivers aren’t what they used to be in terms of toughness. How many times do we see wideouts getting alligator arms over the middle, or run out of bounds in order to get away from contact?
In the following clip, Watkins catches a quick strike over the middle. Without slowing down one bit, he turned his head up and his shoulders down, driving through the Georgia Bulldogs’ defender, taking him away with ease. From there, it was a track meet to the endzone for a 77-yard touchdown.
An extremely underrated aspect of a wide receiver’s game is how he carries himself when his offense is executing a run play—one which he will not touch the ball. Do they jog at defenders, just positioning themselves to “get in the way”? Or are they going to do what Watkins does in the following clip against Georgia’s offense?
Watkins sole responsibility on this play call is one that a wideout with a “diva” mentality despises. As Tahj Boyd hands the ball off, Watkins aggressively pursues the Georgia defender, throwing a textbook chop block, clearing the way for the ball-carrier to gain a huge chunk of yards.
While all of the highlighted plays are exciting, there’s still so much more to Sammy Watkins’ game. Take a look at this play against Wake Forest. Watkins uses his high football I.Q. to maneuver through the underneath zone, before exploding down the field, where he’s wide open for a monster gain.
Overall, Sammy Watkins is an incredible football player. Aside from his earlier arrests for marijuana, it really seems like he got that part of his life behind him with the help of Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney.
His overall set of athletic skills is incredible *and* he knows how to utilize them, which is why many draft prospects enter the league looking like Tarzan, and wind up playing like Jane.
One last video to show you just how much the Clemson coaching staff respects and values Watkins’ knowledge of the game.