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2015 NFL DRAFT

Sammy Watkins, WR

School: Clemson  |  Conference: ACC
College Experience: Junior  |  Hometown: Fort Myers, FL
Height/Weight: 6-1 / 211 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
411
Player News
05/12/2014 - 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

05/12/2014 - 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

05/12/2014 - 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

05/08/2014 - 2014 DRAFT SCOUT FINAL TOP 100: 4/1. *Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson, 6-1, 211, 4.39, 1...Watkins keeps his elite speed under total control to deceive defenders with a startling ability to shift gears and direction faster than a NASCAR driver faced with an 11-car pileup. That makes him dangerous after the catch -- which he accomplishes with the precision hands of a surgeon -- and as a returner. As a true freshman in 2011, he caught 82 passes for 1,219 yards and 12 scores and added more than 1,000 yards rushing and returning. After a 2012 impacted by a two-game suspension (marijuana possession), Watkins exploded again in 2013, catching 101 passes for 1,464 yards and 12 touchdowns and closed out his prolific Clemson career with a dominating 16-catch performance in the Tigers' dramatic victory over Ohio State in the Orange Bowl. Frankly: Was NFLDraftScout.com's top-rated NFL WR since the day he left high school at South Fort Myers (Fla.). His dazzling display of foot and handwork makes Watkins a big play waiting to happen. Still, he can improve overall game by working on route running that wasn't a priority in his gimmicky college offense and by increasing strength to fend off NFL jams. - Frank Cooney, NFLDraftScout.com

05/07/2014 - WR Sammy Watkins sees Detroit as real possibility...The Lions signed Golden Tate in free agency, but the former Seahawks' field-stretcher might be situated inside if Detroit can reel in a game-breaker with the 10th overall pick. There are indications that the Lions are knocking for trade possibilities to climb up and be in position to draft Watkins or Evans. There are also strong indications that will require dealing up at least three spots. The Minnesota Vikings (eighth) and Buffalo Bills (ninth) could take a receiver, as might Jacksonville (third), Cleveland (fourth) and Oakland (fifth). Watkins was accustomed to playing the BMOC role at Clemson. He'd welcome more a sidekick spot with the Lions alongside Calvin Johnson. "I'd be very happy to end up there," he said. - The Sports Xchange

05/07/2014 - Five players who should be on Oakland's draft radar...WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson: The Raiders signed James Jones in free agency, but with Denarius Moore and Rod Streater currently tabbed as Oakland's starting wide receivers, more pass-catching life is needed on the depth chart. Watkins might not be elite in the Calvin Johnson-A.J Green mold, but he's an exciting, explosive athlete who can be extremely dangerous with the ball in his hands. He is a home-run threat whenever he touches the ball with his smooth acceleration and multiple gears to take the top off a defense. Watkins plucks the ball well with natural adjustments and has improved his reliability in his area, adding ball skills as a strength to his game. He isn't quite as polished as his former teammate DeAndre Hopkins, who was a first-rounder last year, but he's more explosive and has steadily developed his route running and consistency over the past three years. Watkins projects as a potential game-changing target who will make an impact at all levels of the field and fits any scheme, making him a possible fit with the fifth overall selection. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

05/07/2014 - WR Sammy Watkins sees Detroit as real possibility...Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins said Tuesday that interest from NFL teams is strong. And then there's a few flights of stairs, an escalator and a Khalil Mack vertical to the level of love he is feeling from the Detroit Lions. "It's kind of serious," Watkins said Tuesday in New York, about 56 hours before the 2014 NFL Draft begins. Watkins is the No. 1-rated receiver on the NFLDraftScout.com board. Texas A&M's Mike Evans, a bigger and more physical target, could come off the board in the top 10. Both players are targets for the Lions. General manager Martin Mayhew said Monday that Watkins "fits us" and that Detroit was in the market for a player on the edge who can turn a 5-yard completion into a 90-yard score.

Watkins ran a 4.43 40 at the Scouting Combine. But Mayhew said what stands out about him is soft, natural hands. "I think that's really important. It kind of goes without saying, but you'd be amazed that, you watch tape, combine tape of guys, and they can't catch. That's kind of a problem if you're going to be a receiver. So I think that's pretty important," Mayhew said. "It depends on what you're going to use him for, but guys with speed excite us, because a guy that can make a 5-yard play into a 90-yard play is something you want. But those things are probably two of the most important qualities right now." - The Sports Xchange

05/06/2014 - The Sports Xchange 2014 NFL Draft Best Team Fit: Oakland Raiders...WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson: In a league where 20-plus wide receivers per year gain 1,000 yards, the Raiders haven't had one since Randy Moss in 2005. Watkins would pair with veteran James Jones and give Oakland instant credibility at that position. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange

05/06/2014 - The Sports Xchange 2014 NFL Draft Best Team Fit: Jacksonville Jaguars...WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson: He's a game-breaker, a breakaway threat, reliable, big, talented. All the qualities that the Jaguars have never had in a receiver. Justin Blackmon appeared to have several of these qualities, but the team never knew if he would be available one game to the next. Picking Watkins with the No. 3 overall pick would be a huge fan delight. It would alter the defensive coverage that teams would have to plan for with the Jaguars and would give Cecil Shorts the opportunity to shine as the team's No. 2 receiver. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange

05/06/2014 - Dane Brugler's 2014 NFL Draft Final Top-50: 7. Sammy Watkins WR, Clemson (6-1, 211, 4.43, JR)...With a 4.43 40-yard dash, Watkins showed off his athleticism at the Combine and backed up what his tape tells us as well. He needs some polish in a few areas, but he has above average vision and acceleration and projects as a borderline WR1/WR2 in the NFL. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

04/29/2014 - Five players who should be on the St. Louis Rams' draft radar: WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson: The Rams' gamble on Tavon Austin a year ago did not have the immediate impact Snead and Fisher hoped. Austin is a dynamic weapon but he's a slot receiver and return specialist, rather than a true No. 1 target. If the Rams truly are committed to building with Bradford, they might see Watkins as the best way to win immediately. It is easy to fall in love with Watkins' game. The 6-foot-1, 211-pound has the frame to handle press coverage, vacuum-like hands and the first-step explosiveness to run away from defenders. It is generally presumed that the Rams will take a tackle at No. 2 overall, but Fisher hasn't taken an offensive lineman in the first round in 19 previous drafts operating as head coach. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

04/29/2014 - 2014 NFL Draft Wide Receiver: *Sammy Watkins, Clemson, 6-1, 211, 4.43...Watkins keeps his elite speed under total control to deceive defenders with a startling ability to shift gears and direction faster than a NASCAR driver faced with an 11-car pileup. That makes him dangerous after the catch -- which he accomplishes with the precision hands of a surgeon -- and as a returner. As a true freshman in 2011, he caught 82 passes for 1,219 yards and 12 scores and added more than 1,000 yards rushing and returning.

After a 2012 impacted by a two-game suspension (marijuana possession), Watkins exploded again in 2013, catching 101 passes for 1,464 yards and 12 touchdowns and closed out his prolific Clemson career with a dominating 16-catch performance in the Tigers' dramatic victory over Ohio State in the Orange Bowl. Frankly: His dazzling display of foot and handwork makes Watkins a big play waiting to happen. Still, he can improve overall game by working on route running that wasn't a priority in his gimmicky college offense and by increasing strength to fend off NFL jams. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange

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

01/10/2014 - Record-setting receiver Sammy Watkins knew before the season began it would likely be his last at Clemson. Watkins announced earlier this week he'd given up his senior season to enter the NFL draft. He stopped back on campus for this weekend's football banquet before heading off to train in Tampa, Fla., for his expected invite to the NFL combine. Watkins said Friday he talked with his coaches before the year started about returning to his freshman numbers that put him on the AP All-America team. Watkins did even better with 101 catches for 1,464 yards this season, both Clemson single-season records. Watkins didn't totally block out talk of his high draft status and worked to finish college ball with a flourish. "I think that's how I approached the season and that's how the coaches approached me this year," Watkins said. "They were going to get the best out of me and they were going to get the ball to me all year and I've got to be a complete player." "I think I managed that well this year," Watkins continued.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound junior has been considered by several analysts the top receiver in next May's draft. There were a few times, Watkins said with a grin, where he'd joke with coach Dabo Swinney or receiver coach Jeff Scott about coming back. In the end, Watkins was ready to reach the goal he'd worked toward since playing youth football in Fort Myers, Fla. "The dream is here now," Watkins said. His favorite accomplishment? Being the only receiver in the country this year and first in Clemson history with two touchdowns of more than 90 yards in his 91-yard grab against Syracuse and a 96-yard catch against Virginia. - AP Sports

01/06/2014 - Watkins to Turn Professional...The 16 receptions and 227 receiving yards established a Clemson single game record and an Orange Bowl record. The 16 receptions also tied an ACC standard for any game and established a record for a BCS Bowl game. The 227 yards were the second most receiving yards in any BCS Bowl game. Watkins finished the 2013 season with 101 receptions for 1,464 yards and 12 touchdowns. He broke Clemson records for receptions in a season (Aaron Kelly 88 in 2007) and receiving yards (DeAndre Hopkins 1,405 in 2012). The native of Fort Myers, FL was a first-team All-American this year by the American Football Coaches Association and was a finalist for the 2013 Biletnikoff Award.

Watkins finished his career with 240 receptions for 3,391 yards and 27 touchdowns. The reception total and yardage total are Clemson records and the touchdown total tied former teammate DeAndre Hopkins, who is now with the Houston Texans of the NFL. He finishes his career ranked second in ACC history in career receptions and third in reception yardage. He is tied for eighth in touchdown receptions and tied for second in 100-yard receiving games with 15. He finished his career with 5,129 all-purpose yards, second in Clemson history to C.J. Spiller's 7,588 and ninth in ACC history. - Clemson football

01/06/2014 - Watkins to Turn Professional...Clemson junior Sammy Watkins announced Monday that he will make himself available for the 2014 NFL draft. Watkins leaves Clemson as a three-time first-team All-American and the school's record holder in terms of receptions and reception yards on a game, season and career basis. Even though he played just three years, he set 23 Clemson records. "I am very thankful for the past three years at Clemson University that have enabled me to grow academically, athletically, and spiritually," said Watkins. "After much prayerful consideration, I have decided to take the next step in pursuing my lifelong dream of playing in the NFL.

"I would not have this opportunity without the support and encouragement of my family, coaches, teammates, and the best fans in college football. No matter where my next steps may lead, I will always take pride in the PAW and will forever be a part of the Clemson family." Watkins finished his Clemson career in grand style as he was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Discover Orange Bowl. He had 16 receptions for 227 yards and two scores in Clemson's 40-35 win over sixth-ranked Ohio State. - Clemson football

01/05/2014 - Clemson WR Watkins to enter draft...Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins will enter this year's NFL draft, according to multiple media reports. Watkins, a junior, had 101 catches for 1,464 yards with 12 touchdowns this season. He made 16 receptions for 227 yards with two touchdowns Friday in Clemson's 40-35 win over Ohio State in the Orange Bowl. Watkins was honored as the game's MVP. Afterward, he said his performance helped "finish off my legacy here." NFLDraftScout.com ranks Watkins as the No. 2 wide receiver and 20th overall prospect. - The Sports Xchange

01/04/2014 - For the second time in three years, Clemson fell apart at the Orange Bowl. Only this time, the Tigers found a way to recover. And thanks to Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins and plenty of others, the end result was Clemson's biggest win in a generation. Boyd threw for 378 yards and five touchdowns, Watkins had a record-setting night with 16 catches for 227 yards, and No. 12 Clemson rallied to beat No. 7 Ohio State 40-35 on Friday for the school's first Orange Bowl win in 32 years. "We are Orange Bowl champs again," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. "Hey, listen: Two years ago we got our butts kicked on this field. And it has been a journey to get back. We're 22-4 since that night. And we are the first team from the state of South Carolina to ever win a BCS game."

Boyd's 5-yard pass to Stanton Seckinger with 6:16 remaining put the Tigers (11-2) ahead to stay on a night when they allowed 20 unanswered points in wasting an early 11-point lead. Watkins caught two scoring passes, plus became Clemson's career receptions leader and set an Orange Bowl record for yardage. Martavis Bryant caught two more TD passes for the Tigers, who posted consecutive 11-win seasons for the first time in school history. "It takes teams to win," Swinney said. "And listen, we made enough mistakes to probably lose the game tonight. But we kept picking each other up. Our defense was awesome." - AP Sports

01/04/2014 - Quarterback Tajh Boyd and wide receiver Sammy Watkins led an explosive offense as the No. 12 Clemson Tigers defeated the No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes 40-35 on Friday night at the Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium. Playing before a crowd of 72,080, Boyd passed for 370 yards and five touchdowns and ran for 127 yards and one score. Watkins caught 16 passes and set an Orange Bowl receiving record with 227 yards. He scored two touchdowns. Clemson improved to 11-2 for the second straight season, which is the most wins in any two-year period in school history. Ohio State fell to 12-2. The winning touchdown was a 5-yard toss from Boyd to tight end Stanton Beckinger with 6:16 left in the fourth quarter. The two-point conversion pass failed. Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller was sacked - with a lost fumble - and intercepted on the Buckeyes' final two possessions.

OSU and Clemson traded touchdowns early in the third quarter. The Buckeyes converted a fourth-and-1 with a 31-yard gain by running back Carlos Hyde. On the next play, Hyde ran 1 yard for a touchdown. Clemson capitalized on a fumble by punt returner Philly Brown that was recovered by safety Robert Smith at the OSU 33. Three plays later, Watkins went up and grabbed a 30-yard touchdown pass. Another Ohio State turnover -- this time an interception by safety Jayron Kearse -- paved the way for Clemson to take a 34-29 third-quarter lead on a sensational 3-yard touchdown grab by Martavis Bryant. - The Sports Xchange

01/03/2014 - PLAYERS TO WATCH: WR Sammy Watkins is just a junior, but he's also a lock to be a high first-round selection in next April's NFL Draft, so the Orange Bowl is expected to be his going-away party. Watkins enters the game with 85 receptions, which is just four shy of the school record for a season, and nine shy of the school's career reception record of 232 held by Aaron Kelly. A 100-yard game would give Watkins eight this season, extending his own school standard. - The Sports Xchange

12/13/2013 - 2013 WALTER CAMP SECOND TEAM ALL-AMERICAN: WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson, 6-1 205, Jr., Fort Myers, FL...Watkins, who was a first-team All-American as an all-purpose player in 2011 as a freshman, has 85 receptions for 1237 yards and 10 touchdowns this year. He has had seven 100-yard receiving games this year, a single season Clemson record. The native of Fort Myers, FL needs just four catches in the Discover Orange Bowl against Ohio State to establish single season record for receptions. He needs nine catches to become Clemson's career leader. - Clemson football

12/13/2013 - 2013 ALL-ACC FIRST TEAM (COACHES): WR-Sammy Watkins (UNANIMOUS), Jr., Clemson (39)...Watkins ranks 11th in the nation and leads the ACC in receiving yards with 1237 so far this season. He also has 10 touchdown receptions on his 85 receptions. He needs just four receptions in Clemson's bowl game to break Aaron Kelley's record for a season in terms of total catches. Watkins was a first-team All-ACC selection in 2011 as a freshman. The native of Fort Myers, FL is a finalist for the 2013 Biletnikoff Award, which is given to the outstanding receiver in college football. - Clemson football

12/12/2013 - 2013 BILETNIKOFF AWARD FINALIST (TOP RECEIVER): Sammy Watkins, Clemson...Watkins has 85 receptions for 1237 yards and 10 touchdowns this year. He has had seven 100-yard receiving games this year, a single season Clemson record. The native of Fort Myers, FL needs just four catches in the Discover Orange Bowl against Ohio State to establish single season record for receptions. He needs nine catches to become Clemson's career leader. - Clemson football

12/04/2013 - 2013 ALL-ACC FIRST TEAM (MEDIA): WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson, 6-1, 205, Jr., Fort Myers, Fla. (191)...Watkins ranks 11th in the nation and leads the ACC in receiving yards with 1237 so far this season. He also has 10 touchdown receptions on his 85 receptions. He needs just four receptions in Clemson's bowl game to break Aaron Kelly's record for a season in terms of total catches. Watkins was a first-team All-ACC selection in 2011 as a freshman. The native of Fort Myers, FL is a finalist for the 2013 Biletnikoff Award, which is given to the outstanding receiver in college football. - Clemson football

11/04/2013 - WEEK 10 ACC RECEIVER OF THE WEEK: Sammy Watkins, Clemson, Jr, WR, 6-1, 205, Fort Myers, Fla.,...Watkins had another record-setting day with eight catches for 169 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday's win at Virginia. It marked Watkins' 13th career 100-yard receiving day, breaking the school record of 12 previously held by former teammate DeAndre Hopkins. It was Watkins' sixth 100-yard receiving game of the year.

Watkins had a 33-yard scoring reception from Tajh Boyd in the first quarter on Clemson's first possession of the game. He then caught a 96-yard scoring pass from Boyd on the first possession of the second half, Watkins' second reception of at least 90 yards this season. Watkins is the only receiver in college football with a pair of 90-yard scoring receptions in 2013. Saturday's big play was the longest pass reception on the road in Clemson history. - ACC football

11/02/2013 - Tajh Boyd sent Sammy Watkins out wide to the right, and saw freshman Tim Harris sliding over in man-to-man coverage. Clemson faced a third-and-15 from its 4 yard-line, a situation that usually calls for a more conservative play call, but Boyd saw the home run potential of the matchup and went for it. Moments later, Watkins was easing into the end zone after a 96-yard touchdown catch that gave the ninth-ranked Tigers a 42-7 lead against Virginia, and Boyd and Watkins were done for the night in what became a 59-10 victory on Saturday.

''When they're out there,'' Boyd said of Watkins and fellow speedy receiver Martavius Bryant, ''you've just got to throw your arm out, honestly, and they'll run and go get it.'' The Tigers did plenty of that in what Boyd and coach Dabo Swinney called their most complete performance of the season. It came two weeks after their worst, a 51-14 loss to No. 3 Florida State, and marked the start of a big finish, Boyd said. ''November is when we want to play our best football,'' Boyd said. ''Hopefully we put a stamp on it today and we're just going to try to take off from here.''

Boyd finished 24 of 29 for 377 yards. He's now been in on 116 career touchdowns, with 93 through the air and 23 running. He's also 4-0 against teams from his home state, having won three prior meetings against Virginia Tech. Watkins caught eight passes for 169 yards and two scores. It was his sixth 100-yard game this season

10/28/2013 - Smooth Sammy Watkins an easy projection at WR for NFL scouts...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.

The Clemson Tigers leaned heavily on Watkins early in their matchup with Maryland, with Tajh Boyd targeting him 12 times in the first half. He caught 10 of those passes for 127 yards to help stake Clemson to a 16-7 halftime lead. By comparison, Boyd's nine other completions of the first half nettedthe Tigers just 60 yards. Watkins' production (14 catches for 163 yards) was critical to the Tigers' success in part because Boyd was hampered by a sore leg. As Maryland worried less about Boyd's threat as a runner they tightened against the pass, alternately blitzing and dropping back extra defenders into coverage. As a result, the senior quarterback struggled again with accuracy from the pocket, just as he did a week ago against Florida State. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

10/28/2013 - WEEK 9 ACC RECEIVER OF THE WEEK: Sammy Watkins, Clemson, Jr., WR, 6-1, 205, Fort Myers, Fla.,...Watkins set a school record with 14 receptions for 163 yards in Clemson's victory over Maryland, breaking the previous record of 13 catches in a game set by DeAndre Hopkins against Auburn and LSU last year. It was Watkins' fifth game of at least 100 receiving yards this season and the 12th of his career to tie Hopkins' Clemson career record for 100-yard games. Watkins finished the game with a season-high 209 all-purpose running yards, helping the Tigers to 40 points and 540 total yards. Watkins had four catches of at least 20 yards in the game. - ACC football

10/28/2013 - Smooth Sammy Watkins an easy projection at WR for NFL scouts...As the game went on and it became increasingly obvious that Clemson was reliant on Watkins to make a big play, Maryland worked to take him out of the game. He caught only four passes in the second half with bracket coverage and linebackers dropping off into his zone frequently forcing Boyd to look elsewhere. Watkins didn't help his own cause as he fumbled his 13th touch of the game, a quick receiver screen in which he failed to protect the ball with both hands. The loss of technique led to a lost football when Watkins simultaneously absorbed hits from two different Maryland defenders.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound junior is NFLDraftScout.com's top-rated receiver. Quick, strong and possessing the explosive speed to burn corners who challenge him in bump and run coverage, Watkins projects as an ideal flanker in much the same mold as Pierre Garcon (6-0, 212). Of course, Watkins' dominance in college football has come against elite competition, whereas Garcon had to work his way into a starring role after playing collegiately at Mount Union. Watkins explodes off the line of scrimmage and out of his breaks, easily separating from defenders. Most impressive, however, is the fluidity with which he catches the ball and gets upfield. There, his vision and maneuverability make him a threat to score from anywhere. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

10/28/2013 - WEEK 9 COLLEGE FOOTBALL STARS: Sammy Watkins, Clemson, had a school-record 14 catches for 163 yards as the No. 9 Tigers wore down injury-riddled Maryland 40-27. - AP Sports

10/26/2013 - Maryland nearly made its last ACC meeting with Clemson one to remember before succumbing, 40-27, to the ninth-ranked Tigers on Saturday at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium. The depleted Terrapins had a first half lead and closed to within three in the third quarter before Clemson (7-1 overall, 5-1 in the ACC) pulled away behind another strong effort from quarterback Tajh Boyd and wide receiver Sammy Watkins. Boyd's five-yard run at 13:04 of the fourth quarter stretched Clemson's lead to 26-13, and tied an ACC record. Watkins set a school record with 14 catches, and Boyd tied the ACC career record for touchdown responsibility with his 112th to equal Phillip Rivers' record set at North Carolina State from 2000-03.

But Clemson couldn't consistently get the ball into the end zone early against a stingy Maryland defense. The Terrapins (5-3, 3-1), still searching for a sixth victory and bowl eligibility lost for the second straight week and the third time in the last four games. Watkins finished with 163 yards receiving and Boyd was 28-of-41 for 304 yards. Boyd also rushed 13 times for 35 yards, as Clemson bounced back from last week's disappointing 51-14 loss to Florida State. - The Sports Xchange

10/26/2013 - Tajh Boyd threw for a touchdown and ran for a score, Sammy Watkins had a school-record 14 catches for 163 yards and No. 9 Clemson wore down injury-riddled Maryland 40-27 on Saturday. Boyd went 28 for 41 for 304 yards with an interception and Roderick McDowell rushed for 161 yards and two touchdowns to help the Tigers (7-1, 5-1 ACC) rebound from last week's 51-14 defeat against Florida State. Clemson ran 98 plays compared to 70 for Maryland (5-3, 1-3) and finished with a 551-364 advantage in total yardage. But the Tigers needed four field goals from Chandler Catanzaro to take a 19-13 lead into the fourth quarter.

After that, however, Maryland's defense finally caved. Boyd scored on a 5-yard run and McDowell ran it in from the 3 to make it 33-13 with 7:57 remaining, and a 45-yard touchdown run by McDowell gave Clemson a 40-20 lead with 5:03 to go. It was the seventh straight road win for the Tigers, their longest streak since a nine-game run in 1978-79. - AP Sports

09/19/2013 - Scouting the Clemson passing game: Clemson has plenty of talent at receiver, but not a lot of depth. Without junior Charone Peake, who has been lost for the season with a torn ACL, some newcomers will have grow up in a hurry, including freshmen T.J. Green and Mike Williams, both of whom have been elevated to backup roles. With Sammy Watkins and Adam Humphries, the Tigers' passing game shouldn't miss a beat regardless of who's delivering the ball. QB Tajh Boyd is one of the nation's top passers, but backup Cole Stoudt is coming off a school-record 19 of 20 performance against S.C. State. - The Sports Xchange

09/07/2013 - ROB RANG'S 09/06/13 TOP 32 2014 DRAFT PROSPECTS: 13. Sammy Watkins*, WR, Clemson (6-1, 200): It was Watkins, not USC's Lee, who was the more impressive pass-catcher as a freshman. Injuries and suspension led to a disappointing sophomore campaign for the Clemson star while Lee won the Biletnikoff Award. With an increasingly rare combination of size and athleticism, Watkins looked poised to rebound in 2013 in the season opener, hauling in six passes -- including a 77-yard touchdown to help the Tigers beat Georgia. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

08/31/2013 - ROB RANG'S 08/30/13 BIG BOARD: 13. WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson (6-1, 200, 4.49)* -- It was Watkins, not USC's Lee, who was the more impressive pass-catcher as a freshman, but injuries and suspension led to a disappointing sophomore campaign for the Clemson star while Lee won the Biletnikof Award. Long and athletic, expect Watkins to re-emerge in 2013. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

08/27/2013 - GRADING CBSSPORTS.COM'S ALL-AMERICA TEAM AS NFL PROSPECTS: WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson (6-1, 205, Jr.)...DeAndre Hopkins earned a first round selection in 2013 and is already earning rave reviews from the Houston Texans, but former teammate Watkins is the more dynamic athlete. Possessing a breath-taking combination of size and pure speed, Watkins looks poised to re-emerge as quarterback Tajh Boyd's favorite weapon in 2013. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

08/14/2013 - 2013 JET AWARD WATCH LIST: Sammy Watkins Jr. Clemson,...The Jet Award honors the best return specialist in college football. Drawing its name from former Heisman trophy winner Johnny "The Jet" Rodgers, the Jet Award will be voted on by a selection committee, featuring football writers and broadcasters from around the country, as well as Rodgers. To be considered for the Jet Award, players must be a primary kick or punt returner for his team. They must be among the national leaders in return categories and show leadership, courage, desire and respect for authority and discipline. - Johnny Rodgers Youth Foundation

07/24/2013 - 2013 ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE PRESEASON TEAM (MEDIA): WR Sammy Watkins, CL, (57), Jr., Fort Myers, Fla.,...Watkins is a two-time All-American, including 2012 when he was selected by College & Pro Football Weekly. He was a first-team AP All-American as an all-purpose player in 2011, just the fourth true freshman to be named first-team All-American by AP as a position player. Top Four in Voting By Position: Wide Receiver: 1. Sammy Watkins, CL (57)...2. Michael Campanoro, WF (20)...3. Stefon Diggs, MD (19)...4. Rashad Greene, FSU (10). - Clemson football

07/22/2013 - Clemson, seeking its 15th Atlantic Coast Conference football title and its second in three years, is the preseason choice to win the Atlantic Division and defeat Miami in the 9th Annual Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game, according to a poll of media members attending this week's ACC Football Kickoff at the Grandover Resort.

Clemson, which leads all ACC teams with 14 conference championships, finished atop the media preseason poll for the second time since 1991. The Tigers have been picked to finish first six times overall since the ACC preseason poll began in 1976. - ACC football

07/20/2013 - 2013 WALTER CAMP WATCH LIST: WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson...Watkins is a two-time All-American, including 2012 when he was selected by College & Pro Football Weekly. He was a first-team AP All-American as an all-purpose player in 2011, just the fourth true freshman to be named first-team All-American by AP as a position player. - Clemson football

07/19/2013 - 2013 BILETNIKOFF AWARD WATCH LIST: Sammy Watkins, Clemson, JR...Watkins, a junior from Fort Myers, FL, is a two-time All-American. He had 82 receptions for 1219 yards and 12 receiving touchdowns in 2011 and 57 catches for 708 yards and three scores last year. He was a first-team AP All-American and ACC Rookie of the Year as a freshman in 2011, and a first-team All-American by College & Pro Football Weekly in 2012. He has 139 receptions for 1927 yards and 15 touchdowns for his career. - Clemson football

07/16/2013 - 2013 PAUL HORNUNG AWARD WATCH LIST: Sammy Watkins, Clemson...Watkins had 57 receptions for 708 yards and three touchdowns last year when he played just 10 games. In two years, he has 139 catches for 1,927 yards and 15 touchdowns. Watkins was a first-team All-American by College & Pro Football Weekly last year and a first-team All-American as an all-purpose player by the Associated Press in 2011. Last week, Watkins was named to the preseason Watch List for the Paul Hornung Award, which goes to the top all-purpose player in the nation. - Clemson football

07/16/2013 - 2013 MAXWELL AWARD WATCH LIST: WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson...Watkins had 57 receptions for 708 yards and three touchdowns last year when he played just 10 games. In two years, he has 139 catches for 1,927 yards and 15 touchdowns. Watkins was a first-team All-American by College & Pro Football Weekly last year and a first-team All-American as an all-purpose player by the Associated Press in 2011. Last week, Watkins was named to the preseason Watch List for the Paul Hornung Award, which goes to the top all-purpose player in the nation. - Clemson football

06/27/2013 - TOP CLEMSON NFL PROSPECTS: 2. WR Sammy Watkins (6-1, 205, 4.49)...Though his sophomore season failed to match the production from his breakout freshman campaign, Watkins has flashed the exciting potential to be drafted in the top half of round one next year. He lacks elite track speed but has special acceleration to burst to his top speed quickly with galloping strides. Watkins uses sharp footwork off the line of scrimmage to beat pressure and get vertical with proper depth in his routes and an understanding of how to work the soft spots in coverage. He has a leaner-than-ideal build and needs to be more aggressive in jump-ball situations to secure contested catches.

Watkins is usually sure-handed and does a nice job extending to pluck the ball away from his frame, but he will have some focus drops when he takes his eye off the ball. He has good vision as a ballcarrier and wastes little time making the catch and bursting downfield. He is often used on a lot of motion plays and screens to allow him to catch and create. Watkins won't have the benefit of Hopkins on the other side of the field attracting attention in 2013, but he'll still have Boyd throwing him the ball and the sky is the limit in terms of his NFL potential if he can develop into a more consistent pass catcher. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

06/27/2013 - PLAYERS TO WATCH IN 2013: WR Sammy Watkins had a sub-par season in 2012 by his standards. After a record-breaking freshman season, Watkins' production did drop considerably last season, but he still had 708 yards on 54 receptions. With DeAndre Hopkins gone to the NFL, expect Boyd to lean on Watkins more in 2013. - The Sports Xchange

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05/12/2014 - 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
 

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