A strong case can be made that there isn't a better player in the 2014 draft class than Sammy Watkins. Three players were selected ahead of Watkins in the draft and none of them are arguably any better than the wide receiver.
Bortles is the typical NFL coach's ideal of a QB but he is unlikely to make a bigger year one impact than Watkins.
Offensive tackle Greg Robinson will likely be a franchise left tackle but for all the importance of the left tackle position a great one isn't going to win games, score points and pack out stadiums like Watkins might.
Whilst number one pick Clowney might be more of a freak athlete than Watkins but is less polished and lacks the same intangibles that Watkins has.
I stress these points because Watkins looks like a truly special NFL talent. He has everything going for him. He has all the measurables.
At 6'1'' and 211 pounds he is big and strong with a huge catch radius. He also has the necessary speed of a number one receiver. Watkins ran the 40-yard-dash in an official time of 4.43 seconds although he was timed as low as 4.34.
These physical statistics are also matched up with production on the field.
Last season he had 101 receptions for 1,44 yards and 12 touchdowns. Even better Watkins possesses the intangibles that are so important to NFL success. It has been reported that prior to rookie camp he was at the Bills HQ practising running routes at 6.45am.
Watkins then is a special talent. Barring some disaster he should carve himself out a great NFL career over a number of seasons.
To be a success for the Bills though Watkins has to do so much more than have a productive rookie season.
In the words of General Manager Doug Whaley:
"We thought it was a calculated risk and a risk we were willing to take.
"The high cost of not making the playoffs is something we weighed in and we thought this guy was going to get us to the playoffs."
So there you have it.
Sammy Watkins is expected to take the Bills to the playoffs for the first time since 1999. Last season the Bills went 6-10 so Watkins needs to win four or five games for the Bills. That is a lot to ask of any rookie.
Even more troubling though is that to draft Watkins the Bills had to give up next years 1st round pick and fourth round picks. If Watkins doesn't deliver the playoffs in year one he isn't going to be getting significant reinforcements in the 2015 draft.
Typically, rookie wide receivers take some time to adapt to the NFL. In their first year rookie wide receivers typically go for around for 400-500 yards. The highest draft wide receiver last season was Tavon Austin who got 418 yards in his rookie year.
Now Watkins is better than your average rookie wide receiver. He will likely go for 800-900 yards. That would be a great rookie season for almost any debutant in the league. It would put him amongst the greatest rookie wide receivers in NFL history. Would an extra 900 or even 1000 yards take the Bills to the playoffs though?
Given the price that the Bills paid to get Watkins even if he delivers a great rookie season he can't be considered a success. By the standards that the Bills have put up for Watkins he can only be a bust.
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