Sammy Watkins - Wide Receiver
The best prospect Clemson has on the offensive side of the ball is receiver Sammy Watkins. He is a third year junior who according to many scouts and agents, may enter the draft. He has started since midway through his freshman year. He is Clemson's go-to receiver and is having a productive season to date. In four games he has 25 catches for 355 yards and two touchdowns. In two and a half seasons, he has caught 164 passes for over 2000 yards and 17 TDs.
Watkins has good size at 6'1 - 205 and is strong. He plays taller because of his long arms. To go along with his size, he has good athleticism and body control. He is fast (4.48 est.) with quick change of direction and is explosive. He can be very physical and does a good job competing for the ball in traffic.
Watkins is used often on quick bubble screens. He shows he can snatch the ball on these type of plays and consistently gets yards after the catch. He also runs slants, outs, comebacks and deep routes. He does a good job setting up defensive backs with double moves on the deeper routes. When running routes, he can sink his hips and get in and out of cuts quickly to gain separation. On comeback routes, he doesn't waste time chopping his feet. He can put his foot in the ground and burst back. He shows he can find the seams in zone. He usually shows very good hands and almost always tries to snatch the ball, but he will have an occasional concentration drop. He is a consistent runner after the catch showing instincts, moves, and power. He has the skills to turn a short pass into a long gain.
Watkins is still young and raw, but he has excellent talent. He will need to learn to run routes better at the NFL level and learn more types of routes. I like his physical play and big play ability. Because it is a stop watch driven position, how he runs in the spring may determine his draft position, but I have no doubt that once in the league Watkins will grow into a solid number 2 receiver. It may take a year to develop but there is a lot of upside.
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