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Old 05-02-2014, 03:42 PM    (permalink
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'Best open field runner' is a different discussion.


Who's more explosive??? I haven't seen anything from either to be honest to say one or the other accelerates or gets to top speed faster than the other.

Watkins can squeeze a DB's coverage before he has time to adjust and run away from nearly any corner in single coverage. Not saying Patterson can't, just that Watkins brings elite athletic ability in the body of someone who's a very technically sound WR already.

His route tree was limited because of the QB at Clemson, not Watkins.
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Old 05-02-2014, 03:44 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by The 1969 Juice View Post
He's not a better prospect than Crabtree.

Watkins speed alone makes him a better prospect than Crabtree.

You don't think Watkins would have had equal or better numbers in that TT Air Raid???
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Old 05-02-2014, 03:52 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by FUNBUNCHER View Post
'Best open field runner' is a different discussion.


Who's more explosive??? I haven't seen anything from either to be honest to say one or the other accelerates or gets to top speed faster than the other.

Watkins can squeeze a DB's coverage before he has time to adjust and run away from nearly any corner in single coverage. Not saying Patterson can't, just that Watkins brings elite athletic ability in the body of someone who's a very technically sound WR already.

His route tree was limited because of the QB at Clemson, not Watkins.
We might just be thinking of "explosive" differently. You probably just mean "big plays." I was thinking more along the lines of creating plays where it doesn't look like there should be one, which usually has more to do with having the ball in your hands already.
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Old 05-02-2014, 03:54 PM    (permalink
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I'm going to be bullish on this. Watkins is explosive and a great prospect, but Patterson is one of, if not the, best open field runners I have ever scouted. Watkins is not. He's good, but he's not someone I think of as one of the best ever. Watkins is plenty capable of making big plays and taking short plays to the house, but there's a lot of guys who can do that. Patterson is the best at that, though. Watkins is good, but Patterson is the best. Yes, Patterson is absolutely more explosive than Watkins with the ball in his hands. People get hyperbolic about the best prospects in a given class around draft time. Watkins is a great prospect, but Patterson is like the standard for explosiveness in my eyes.
I agree that Patterson was a superior explosive athlete and open field runner.

But Watkins, while still underdeveloped compared to some of the other WR prospects, is much more polished. He's also a much better hands catcher. Those were the dings on Patterson; super, super raw as a WR and a really poor to almost nonexistent hands catcher.
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:01 PM    (permalink
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I agree that Patterson was a superior explosive athlete and open field runner.

But Watkins, while still underdeveloped compared to some of the other WR prospects, is much more polished. He's also a much better hands catcher. Those were the dings on Patterson; super, super raw as a WR and a really poor to almost nonexistent hands catcher.
Oh, I know. Totally. That's why he'll probably go top-5 while Patterson lasted well into the 20s.
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:39 PM    (permalink
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He's not a better prospect than Crabtree.
He is. He's faster, more explosive, and better RAC. I loved Crabtree coming out but he never ran a 40 (and I don't think he wanted to).

Watkins is more of a big play guy and offers return value. Crabtree had injury concerns and wasn't the fastest on tape and obviously we never got his timed speed either.

In a way, Crabtree was a better pure wide receiver prospect in the Larry Fitzgerald sense, but in terms of value to a football team and upside - Watkins is above him.

I really wanted Crabs in Seattle... ... ...freaking Aaron Curry that year. People forget how dominant a college player he was - GREAT prospect and one of the best pure hands/route-running/body control/catch radius/natural receiver prospects in modern draft history. Now that he's pretty much accepted by everyone as either sorry, mediocre, or Me-Di-O-cre, we forget how good he was coming out.

But Watkins is a slightly better prospect. He's more raw in terms of getting open down the field, but he flashes serious ball skills when he gets a chance.
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:45 PM    (permalink
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We might just be thinking of "explosive" differently. You probably just mean "big plays." I was thinking more along the lines of creating plays where it doesn't look like there should be one, which usually has more to do with having the ball in your hands already.
When I say explosive I mean that ability to become a blur on the football field; pure speed and quickness.

It sounds like you mean who's the better PLAYMAKER, and in that case I'd give the nod to Patterson because he's more elusive in the open field.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:44 PM    (permalink
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He is. He's faster, more explosive, and better RAC. I loved Crabtree coming out but he never ran a 40 (and I don't think he wanted to).

Watkins is more of a big play guy and offers return value. Crabtree had injury concerns and wasn't the fastest on tape and obviously we never got his timed speed either.

In a way, Crabtree was a better pure wide receiver prospect in the Larry Fitzgerald sense, but in terms of value to a football team and upside - Watkins is above him.

I really wanted Crabs in Seattle... ... ...freaking Aaron Curry that year. People forget how dominant a college player he was - GREAT prospect and one of the best pure hands/route-running/body control/catch radius/natural receiver prospects in modern draft history. Now that he's pretty much accepted by everyone as either sorry, mediocre, or Me-Di-O-cre, we forget how good he was coming out.

But Watkins is a slightly better prospect. He's more raw in terms of getting open down the field, but he flashes serious ball skills when he gets a chance.
Crabtree had less injury concerns than Watkins. If they were in the same draft i think most teams would have Crabtree higher on their board.

Also if we ignore off the field concerns Dez and Harvin were better than Watkins coming out too
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:58 PM    (permalink
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Crabtree had less injury concerns than Watkins. If they were in the same draft i think most teams would have Crabtree higher on their board.

Also if we ignore off the field concerns Dez and Harvin were better than Watkins coming out too
You could make the case for Dez being a better receiver but it's hard to just ignore his off field concerns. They're part of his value as a prospect. Let's not forget that Dez is right up there with best WRs in the NFL right now. If you ignore his character concerns he'd be right up there with Julio and AJ IMO.

Harvin is nowhere near as good of a prospect when you consider injury/character concerns. Even if you forget them I don't think he was a better prospect but again those concerns are part of what makes up a prospects value. Colt Lyerla is one of the most talented TEs in this class but he'll never show it because he won't be drafted.

I still disagree that Crabtree was better coming out. Obviously in your opinion he was but I think the general consensus is that Watkins is better. Crabtree's lack of elite athleticism/size has prevented him from being a true difference maker at the next level. That was a concern when he was coming out. Watkins doesn't have that same concern. Obviously there are things that Crabtree as a prospect was better than Watkins at (hands,route running) so if you value those aspects very highly than you can say that Crabtree is better but again most people seem to disagree.
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:00 PM    (permalink
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Crabtree had less injury concerns than Watkins. If they were in the same draft i think most teams would have Crabtree higher on their board.

Also if we ignore off the field concerns Dez and Harvin were better than Watkins coming out too
You think Crabtree coming out of TT right now would be the near consensus #1 WR in this class??
Percy Harvin??

Maybe Dez, but Watkins is a better straightline athlete than he is.

Also what injury concerns does Watkins have??
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:07 PM    (permalink
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You think Crabtree coming out of TT right now would be the near consensus #1 WR in this class??
Percy Harvin??

Maybe Dez, but Watkins is a better straightline athlete than he is.

Also what injury concerns does Watkins have??
He twisted his ankle one time.......
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:08 PM    (permalink
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If you look at Sammy's explosion numbers, they weren't crazy. He also doesn't have the largest of hands. To me, I feel like he takes a bit of time to get in and out of breaks, but that's just on an eye test. He's also disappeared plenty of times, and I distinctly remember Dabo talking earlier on in the season about how Sammy needs to always be "on" if he wants to be great, and I don't think the top players at the position ever had that question.

I do think he'll be very good and productive, but I wouldn't be surprised if he isn't the best receiver out of this class.
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:30 PM    (permalink
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You could make the case for Dez being a better receiver but it's hard to just ignore his off field concerns. They're part of his value as a prospect. Let's not forget that Dez is right up there with best WRs in the NFL right now. If you ignore his character concerns he'd be right up there with Julio and AJ IMO.

Harvin is nowhere near as good of a prospect when you consider injury/character concerns. Even if you forget them I don't think he was a better prospect but again those concerns are part of what makes up a prospects value. Colt Lyerla is one of the most talented TEs in this class but he'll never show it because he won't be drafted.

I still disagree that Crabtree was better coming out. Obviously in your opinion he was but I think the general consensus is that Watkins is better. Crabtree's lack of elite athleticism/size has prevented him from being a true difference maker at the next level. That was a concern when he was coming out. Watkins doesn't have that same concern. Obviously there are things that Crabtree as a prospect was better than Watkins at (hands,route running) so if you value those aspects very highly than you can say that Crabtree is better but again most people seem to disagree.
I don't think you can give hands to Crabtree, Watkins has the best set of hands I have ever seen, but I'm sure there were a # of WR's who could match him but never pass him and there is absolutely nothing wrong with his route running either. He's got magic feet and gives CB's nightmares in trying to cover him.

Dez can play with anybody but he still has character concerns and can disappear in games. Harvin wasn't anywhere near the prospect Watkins is.
IMO, Watkins is right there with AJ Green and Fitzgerald as a prospect, except he is faster than both.
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:06 PM    (permalink
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I actually think Sammy Watkins has a lot of similarities to Cordarrelle Patterson.
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:29 PM    (permalink
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Watkins has the best set of hands I have ever seen
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Old 05-03-2014, 12:31 AM    (permalink
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I don't think you can give hands to Crabtree, Watkins has the best set of hands I have ever seen, but I'm sure there were a # of WR's who could match him but never pass him and there is absolutely nothing wrong with his route running either. He's got magic feet and gives CB's nightmares in trying to cover him.

Dez can play with anybody but he still has character concerns and can disappear in games. Harvin wasn't anywhere near the prospect Watkins is.
IMO, Watkins is right there with AJ Green and Fitzgerald as a prospect, except he is faster than both.
Saying that Watkins has the best set of hands you've ever seen is probably the most ridiculous thing you've ever said and that's saying something. Also you claim that you've followed football since like the 50's or 60's so you're basically saying that no WR in the history of the game has had better hands than Watkins..........
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Old 05-03-2014, 12:42 AM    (permalink
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Default Don't understand the hype

While I think Watkins will be a successful WR in the NFL it boggles my mind why so many ignore the signs that he may not be a dominant player. His combine performance was good but not overly special. Compare numbers, Jordan Matthews matched Watkins or beat him at every step at the Combine yet Matthews is labelled a possession player. Evans is far more explosive on a per play basis but Watkins is still hyped as the clear #1.

Scouts rave about Watkins after the catch ability but he caught more than 50% of his passes at or behind the line of scrimmage. That is far different than making plays in physical contested space at full speed downfield. Perhaps he will adjust well to NFL route running but it is still speculation without evidence.

Even worse is the one thing that cannot be coached up and cannot be worked on - Watkins is 6'1". Look it up if you choose - nearly 75% of double digit TD seasons in the NFL, since 2008, have come from players 6'2" or taller. It is amazing how many pundits and scouts refuse to accept what is becoming more and more obvious - height and size is the first factor in determining potential at the NFL level. Yes, Wes Welker and Steve Smith have proven otherwise but those are outliers that are few and far between.

To be a Top 3 pick the player should hit every mark, every measurable, every test and yet statistically Watkins is already behind the odds to reach elite #1 status. Some stats show the past and some are more predictive but it seems no one cares to see the difference.

I think Watkins has a ton of ability and will be successful at the NFL level but the incredible hype is unwarranted. In so many ways he measures up almost exactly to DeAndre Hopkins who was not a sure fire prospect last year. I just don't understand where the opinions come from.
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Old 05-03-2014, 01:21 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Sawyerfamilyaz View Post
While I think Watkins will be a successful WR in the NFL it boggles my mind why so many ignore the signs that he may not be a dominant player. His combine performance was good but not overly special. Compare numbers, Jordan Matthews matched Watkins or beat him at every step at the Combine yet Matthews is labelled a possession player. Evans is far more explosive on a per play basis but Watkins is still hyped as the clear #1.

Scouts rave about Watkins after the catch ability but he caught more than 50% of his passes at or behind the line of scrimmage. That is far different than making plays in physical contested space at full speed downfield. Perhaps he will adjust well to NFL route running but it is still speculation without evidence.

Even worse is the one thing that cannot be coached up and cannot be worked on - Watkins is 6'1". Look it up if you choose - nearly 75% of double digit TD seasons in the NFL, since 2008, have come from players 6'2" or taller. It is amazing how many pundits and scouts refuse to accept what is becoming more and more obvious - height and size is the first factor in determining potential at the NFL level. Yes, Wes Welker and Steve Smith have proven otherwise but those are outliers that are few and far between.

To be a Top 3 pick the player should hit every mark, every measurable, every test and yet statistically Watkins is already behind the odds to reach elite #1 status. Some stats show the past and some are more predictive but it seems no one cares to see the difference.

I think Watkins has a ton of ability and will be successful at the NFL level but the incredible hype is unwarranted. In so many ways he measures up almost exactly to DeAndre Hopkins who was not a sure fire prospect last year. I just don't understand where the opinions come from.
I haven't figured out the best way to describe this, but I am vehemently opposed to using this as anything more than a tiny footnote. Of those %, how many were top 5 picks? How many produced like him? But most importantly - how many were Sammy Watkins? NONE! Why can't we judge prospects by studying the tape and projecting his game and traits to the NFL? Why do we always have to cite OTHER situations and compare guys to OTHER players. You have all the info you need right in front of you - watch HIM play football. Judge each player and situation individually. This type of point drives me nuts. It proves nothing. It has nothing to do with Sammy Watkins. If you want to say he won't/can't do something, why not bring up something about HIM!? I can create any set of parameters to support anything. Well if there's no basis for that support, does the support matter, like at all?

Two substance things I disagree with:

1) His combine performance was terrific. He's not the quickest player but he's explosive (BJ) and ran a 4.43 40 (lower unofficial and great splits). Is a 4.43 40 really not special? Where am I? 4.43 is an amazing time, but more importantly he plays that fast. I don't care about a guy who runs a sub-4.4 but doesn't make many plays on the field. And we see that on the field. I agree he's not as shifty as you'd like but he can make plays - he DOES make plays there's no way around that. And why does Jordan Matthews' athleticism being underrated mean a negative for Watkins? Matthews is a fascinating player but frankly has nothing to do with Watkins at all.

2) DeAndre Hopkins is a nice player and was a damn good prospect with some special WR-specific traits (especially making plays down the field). But he's not the playmaker Watkins is and isn't nearly as fast or explosive.

I actually agree with your second point. He's raw and he's going to have to learn how to run routes down the field. There might be an adjustment period. And there's always a chance that light doesn't go on and he's stuck as a limited player who can only run 9s and get screens. But that's where the projection comes in. He did what was best for his offense and did it extremely well. You can't fault him for that. And his traits translate to the type of route-running you and I want to see.

Idk, I'm usually the one nitpicking the top guys but Watkins just jumps out as a sure-ish thing to me. He could be special. I'm kinda torn on his demeanor. Nothing would surprise me but the tape, production, 40, hands speak for themselves.

Every year I study the top guys and find a few I just don't like. This year is just crazy. I like everyone. It's crazy how bad last year was compared to this year. Guys like Mingo, Jordan - they were just OK. I'm going to have trouble picking busts this year. Might have to just predict this goes down as one of the best draft classes of all time.

So while I appreciate trying to be thorough and not one of the sheep that just think every player is rosy all around and the draft consistently produces top players from first round picks (it doesn't). But this year the eternal optimists might actually be right (most of them - which would be wayyyyy more than usual).

There are some guys in the 2nd who I think could bust easily, but I can't find a top guy I don't like - and some of them just look like obvious stars. It's scary.

I've gone almost cookie cutter. And I don't want to be but I have to be true to my evaluations and if it happens so be it.
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Old 05-03-2014, 01:35 AM    (permalink
Sawyerfamilyaz
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Ok go ahead and create a set of parameters that shows players under 6'2" are likely to score double digit TDs.
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Old 05-03-2014, 01:43 AM    (permalink
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The point is that pointing out that a bunch of guys under 6'1 don't score double digit TDs means very little when evaluating a sub 6-1 guy who is uncommon and who can win vertically, go up and attack the football, and score from pretty much everywhere on the field.

Tall guys score a bunch of TDs. That doesn't prove that a 6-1 guy can't. And don't say "well the odds are stacked against him." No they aren't. Do the damn work. Watch him play. He can score double digit TDs in the NFL. Evaluate Sammy Watkins, don't worry about what a data group of non-Sammy Watkins players has proven. It might be relevant as a historic trend, but it really doesn't mean squat when judging a new player with traits that greatly differ or exceed the majority of who's in that data set.

People say "Russell Wilson was the exception, not the rule." Because similar data had a sub 6-0 QB failure rate of something crazy. Well the flaw with that logic is that none of those guys were RW and RW had very specific reasons why he succeeded - uncommon for sub 6-0 QBs - and those were evident if you did the full work on him and didn't discount him or downgrade him based on the failures of similar-framed players in the past.
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Old 05-03-2014, 01:57 AM    (permalink
Sawyerfamilyaz
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Comparison stats matter because in attempting to project future production it is reasonable to follow history and determine what are good predictors. I'm not discounting what I see with my eyes, I am trying to qualify and validate that by concrete comparison with other measurables.

As for which double digit TD WR had the same college performance as Watkins? Try almost every single one. Here is the list from last year:

Demaryius Thomas (6'3") - 14 - 2nd season with 10+
Dez Bryant (6'2") - 13 - 2nd season with 10+
Calvin Johnson (6'5") - 12 - 4th season with 10+
Brandon Marshall (6'4") - 12 - 3rd season with 10+
Eric Decker (6'3") - 11 - 2nd season with 10+
AJ Green (6'4") - 11 - 2nd season with 10+
Jerricho Cotchery (6'1") - 10
Larry Fitzgerald (6'3") - 10 - 5th season with 10+
Marvin Jones (6'2") - 10
Wes Welker (5'9") - 10

Only two of ten last year were under 6'2" and neither of those had ever hit the 10+ mark before in their NINETEEN combined seasons. And as near as I can tell there is a TON of college production listed up there. There aren't very many top receivers in the NFL that didn't have great college production.

You can ignore it if you want, just like NFL teams do but height (and weight) is a real thing when it comes to being a dominant #1 NFL receiver. Someone drafted Tavon Austin way too high last year. Someone is going to draft Beckham in the first round too and it is a mistake. The first round is for players who will be the top dogs at their positions, players who can make a huge difference, the types of players who will score double digit TDs.
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Old 05-03-2014, 02:08 AM    (permalink
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You believe he can score double digit TDs in the NFL based on subjective analysis that every indicator shows even professional NFL scouts fail at more often than not.

My point is that anything that is measurable shows that he is likely to be a successful NFL receiver but there is no clear indication that he should be picked so highly. You clearly disagree but the only evidence you have to support your opinion is your subjective review of his play and the fact that so many people agree with you, neither of which convinces me he is worthy of a top 5 pick.

Russell Wilson backs up my point completely. He performed in college and every indication was he would have difficulty in the NFL. As a result, every team passed on him and he was drafted later. His success doesn't mean that everyone should draft short QBs, it was an outlier which you yourself agree with. And what I am saying is that I don't understand why NFL teams have not seen the significant correlation between WR height and #1 WR status yet.

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Old 05-03-2014, 02:15 AM    (permalink
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In re-reading these posts I want to make sure you please don't get me wrong. I think Sammy Watkins is a hell of a football player and I not claiming bust or anything like that. I just feel like there is a clear pattern of what makes a top WR that is evident. You're totally right, Watkins may be good enough to go against that pattern and we're only talking one inch. All I know is given the information at hand, with very similar production and athletic measurables, I would choose Evans every time due to his height.
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Old 05-03-2014, 02:18 AM    (permalink
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I don't think Watkins is an elite prospect, but I think he's very deserving of going in the Top 3 overall. I don't throw around elite grades like candy though.

AJ Green, Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald are the only 3 WRs I've ever given such a grade. Watkins is not quite on their level, so I don't rank him that high.

People tend to overhype a prospect. Watkins is no better than Justin Blackmon when he was coming out yet everyone says Watkins is the best receiver since the 2011 class in order to make Watkins seem even more talented than he is. Blackmon was the best route runner I've ever seen. He was explosive and very physical. Consistency and production was even better than Watkins. They both tested and measured virtually the same. I think Blackmon would be one of the elite receivers in the NFL right now if he could manage to stay on the field.

From a talent and measurable perspective they are very similar. But for some reason Watkins is being hyped up as a potential Hall of Fame talent and everyone acts like he comes along once every 5 years. It's just not the case. He is in the same range as Dez Bryant, Julio Jones, Justin Blackmon and Michael Crabtree. He's an excellent prospect, but he's not rare.
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Old 05-03-2014, 02:30 AM    (permalink
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Anyone who knows anything about Sammie Watkins understands his 40 time at the combine is almost irrelevant. That's why he didn't run again at Clemson's pro day.

He's been a 4.3 guy since HS and I have yet to see a game where Watkins didn't look like the fastest guy on the field.

Percy Harvin ran in the low 4.4 range at Indy and it didn't reflect his true speed either.
Harvin was timed in HS at a NIKE pro day in 4.28 and he was always looked like the fastest Gator in pads under Urban Meyer.

With some prospects you need to see their combine and pro day times to get a feel for their true game speed.

For others an official predraft 40 is insignificant because their speed is unquestioned.

Sammie Watkins is one of those guys.
If you saw him play at Clemson, you already know the majority of NFL cornerbacks won't track down Watkins if he catches the ball behind them.

As for height, guys like Isaac Bruce, Marvin Harrison, Andre Rison and Rod Smith are all 6 foot WRs with multiple double digit TD seasons.

Have you heard of Victor Cruz??? He's another 6 foot WR who scored 10 TDs in his 2nd season as a starter in 2012.

Saying Watkins isn't tall enough or big enough to dominate in the NFL is just wrong.
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