Sammy Watkins, WR

School: Clemson  |  Conference: ACC
College Experience: Junior  |  Hometown: Fort Myers, FL
Height/Weight: 6-1 / 211 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
Selected 1st Rnd
Oakland Raiders
5th Pick Overall

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
4.43--16 3410'6"4.346.95
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
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Mock Draft Expert Analysis

  • Oakland Raiders | #5
    The addition of veteran Matt Schaub and Maurice Jones-Drew in recent weeks is an indication that Raiders' general manager Reggie McKenzie is feeling the pressure to win now. Watkins' vacuum-like hands and first-step acceleration make him a big play waiting to happen. Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr could also be in play here should two passers come off the board in the first four picks.
  • Oakland Raiders | #5
    The Raiders need upgrades at several positions, most importantly quarterback. But they might be left in a spot in which their primary targets are no longer on the board. If that's the case, Watkins would be a very nice consolation prize.
  • Cleveland Browns | #4
    Now if they only had a quarterback. The Nate Burleson signing wouldn't change this.
  • Cleveland Browns | #4
    Later in the first round Cleveland will get their quarterback but for now it's a game breaker WR opposite Josh Gordon. The Browns get a quarterback later in this round.

Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: Smooth acceleration and doesn't take long to get up to full speed. Follows blocks well with controlled burst to weave through defenders - multiple gears to win at every level of the field.

Sharp footwork off the line of scrimmage to beat press and get vertical with his galloping strides. Terrific body control and coordination with smooth hips and joints. Good depth in his routes with quick footwork in/out of his breaks, working the soft spots vs. zone.

Above average ball skills and has shown steady improvements in this area over the years. Nice job adjusting his frame and watching the ball into his soft hands, snatching the ball and quickly getting upfield. Good hand size and uses his quick mitts to pluck off-target throws. Tracks well with the hands to highpoint and finish.

Good patience before bursting to top speed and sets up his routes well - veteran at playing the ball and the defender. Dangerous catch-and-go pass catcher and will create yardage on his own, forcing poor angles by defenders. Tough and will lower his pads to initiate contact. Active blocker and gets the job done in this area.

Versatile experience lining up wide, in the slot and in the backfield - also as an impact return man. Productive career, school-record for career receiving yards.

WEAKNESSES: Only average height with a leaner than ideal build, lacking elite muscle definition or strength. Lacks elite speed and more of a glider. Not overly physical and won't break many tackles.

Hands are steady, but he'll have his share of focus drops, especially when he hears footsteps - a few botched returns on his resume. Room to improve his reliability on 50/50 passes. Minor durability concerns. Character needs investigated - arrested in May 2012 on drug-related charges.

COMPARES TO: Mix of Torrey Smith (Ravens) and Percy Harvin (Seahawks) - Watkins has the size and vertical ability of Smith and the acceleration, toughness and multiple gears like Harvin.

--Dane Brugler (1/5/13)

Player Overview

A unanimous top 50 recruit coming out of South Fort Myers in Florida, Watkins was rated as the top wide receiver in the country by The all-time leading receiver in Lee County history with 133 catches for 2,997 yards and 36 career touchdowns.

Watkins burst onto the scene as a true freshman, catching 82 passes for 1,219 yards and 12 touchdowns. He added 231 yards on 32 carries and returned 33 kickoffs for 826 yards and one touchdown. Watkins was voted a first team All-American by Pro Football Weekly, the Associated Press and

While he wasn't as productive in 2012 after serving a two-game suspension to begin the season and with defenses focused on containing him, Watkins still caught 57 passes for 708 yards and three touchdowns. He earned honorable mention All-ACC from the coaches and media, while also returning 13 kickoffs for 257 yards in 10 games.

Watkins returned to his elite form in 2013, catching 101 passes for 1,464 yards and 12 touchdowns. He closed out his prolific Clemson career with a dominating 16-catch performance in the Tigers' dramatic victory over Ohio State in the Orange Bowl.

A more dynamic athlete than former teammate and Houston Texans' 2013 first round pick DeAndre Hopkins, Watkins caught his passes on a variety of routes, including quick screens to take advantage of his ability to make defenders miss in close quarters, deep passes due to his acceleration and jump balls to highlight his leaping ability and hand-eye coordination.

Every fan of the sport knows that there is a difference between timed speed and football speed. Football is rarely a game of straight-lines, making fluidity and general athleticism much more critical than just a 40-yard dash time. In much this same way, some receivers possess a natural ability to pluck the ball, tuck it away and accelerate in one smooth motion that makes them even greater than the sum of their parts.

Sammy Watkins is one such receiver.

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Player News
02/20/2014 - 2014 NFL Draft Scout Pre-Combine Top 64 Prospects: 6. *Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson, 6-1, 205, 4.47, 1...Not only has elite, explosive speed but deceives and dupes defenders with ability to shift gears and direction faster than a NASCAR driver faced with an 11-car pileup. That makes him dangerous after the catch and as a returner. Closed his Clemson career 16 catches, 227 yards, two scores in Orange Bowl. Must hold up to physical defenders at next level. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange

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