Sammy Watkins, clad in an orange tie and a tiger paw pin on his lapel, did not have to wait long to hear his name called by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. With just the 4th pick in the draft, the Buffalo Bills traded up from number 9 to snag the speedy Clemson receiver, allowing Watkins to realize a lifelong dream. As he walked out onto the stage at Radio City Musical Hall in New York City to Drake’s “Look What You’ve Done” (yes, draftees now get to choose their own walk up songs after being drafted) Watkins was all smiles, even snapping a quick selfie with the commish on stage.
As I predicted yesterday, Watkins did in fact go number 4 overall. It just wasn’t to the team I had originally thought. Cleveland, a team with wide receiver needs of their own, originally had the 4th pick before trading down 5 spots with the Bills. Had the Browns kept the pick, they could have packaged Watkins with Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel, whom they drafted later in the night with the 22nd overall pick. Instead, Cleveland landed Oklahoma St. defensive back Justin Gilbert at 8th overall.
Watkins will now join fellow Clemson great C.J. Spiller in Buffalo, as they look to turn around a franchise that hasn’t made it to the postseason since 1999 — the NFL’s longest such drought. The Bills will deploy an exciting young offense with Robert Woods lining up opposite Watkins and Spiller in the backfield. The heights that the Bills reach will rest mainly on the shoulders of former FSU QB E.J. Manuel., Buffalo’s first round pick from a year ago. One thing is for certain, Manuel will have a lot of fun testing out his new shiny toy in Watkins.
Watkins matched the mark for the highest Clemson player every drafted, tying the late Gaines Adams who was taken 4th overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2007.