Prospect: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Grade: 7.8 (Grading Scale)
Full and comprehensive scouting reports will be available in Mike Loyko’s Draft Guide which comes out in late April.
Dynamic, explosive playmaker that can impact the passing game at all levels… Good size for the position… Displays rapid acceleration and plus speed to beat all types of coverage… Very strong hands and ball skills… Extends away from his body and shows strength to make contested catch… Tracks the ball and snatches it out of air… Gains separation out of his breaks and can beat coverage at the top of his route… Quick feet and flexibility to get out of cuts or set up moves… Exceptional on WR screens and bubbles…
Reads his blocks effectively.. Can make first defender miss and accelerate out of breaks with sudden explosion… Breaks arm tackles… Outstanding body control at high speed… Can adjust body and extend creating big catch radius… Fades away from defender and uses the sideline to create catch window… Sets up defender by varying tempo and running routes at different speeds… Stems routes properly off the line and knows how to leverage coverage… Has an extra gear to separate once ball is in the air… Explosive vertical speed to get behind zone or man coverages… Plus Hand-Eye Coordination…
Gets in and out of his routes fluidily… Doesn’t lose speed when making cuts or setting up route… Can become a dynamic route runner with refinement… Exploits holes in zone coverage with route tempo and patient speed… Strong possession receiver… Team can feed him the ball and let him win with his speed.
Has a few character and durability concerns… Has one arrest on his record and was suspended for two games in 2012 because of it…. Still a bit raw as a route runner… Can be more precise and physical when running his routes downfield… Needs to develop route precision… When getting pressed he can struggle to gain free release… Needs to learn how to use footwork and hands to fight off press coverage…
Can add strength to his frame… Durability is a bit of a concern, missed time with various injuries over his three seasons… Body type can handle additional muscle and will help break tackles and get off more physical coverage.
Sammy Watkins is the most dynamic offensive playmaker in the entire 2014 NFL Draft. He has all the traits NFL teams covet from a #1 WR. Watkins, a former HS track star, displays game breaking ability. He has elite acceleration and very good speed which he uses to get open at all levels. Watkins is electric with the ball in his hands. Anytime he has the ball in his hands it’s a chance to turn into a big play.
He separates down the field from man coverage with an extra gear and tracks the ball extremely well. He runs through the catch point, accelerating through the ball and away from the defender. With more route refinement and added strength, Watkins can become an unstoppable force at the next level. A few character concerns, including a drug arrest. He will be the #1 WR off the board and won’t drop out of the top 10 in May’s NFL Draft.