Road to the draft: Sammy Watkins
Position: Wide receiver.
Measurements: 6-foot-1, 211 pounds.
40 time: 4.43 seconds. Bench press: 16 reps of 225 pounds. Vertical jump: 34 inches.
Career stats: 240 receptions, 3,391 yards, 27 receiving touchdowns.
Draft projection: First round.
Lowdown: The most explosive player in the draft, Watkins starred at Clemson from the moment he stepped on campus. As a true freshman in 2010, he was a first-team All-American, just the fourth time that’s happened (Herschel Walker in 1980, Marshall Faulk in ’91, Adrian Peterson ’04). … Watkins leaves as Clemson all-time leader in catches and receiving yards despite playing just three seasons. Finished his college career with a game for the ages in a 40-35 victory over Ohio State in the Orange Bowl, going for 16 catches, 227 yards and two touchdowns. … Is a threat to take the ball the distance at any time by playing even faster than his timed 40 speed. … Is a good “hands catcher” and has a big catch radius, helping out his quarterback. … If there is a concern, it’s that he doesn’t have a lot of experience running different routes. For example, he was rarely asked to go over the middle for the Tigers. … Was arrested for marijuana possession in 2012, for which he served a two-game suspension. After that, his mother moved to Clemson, and Watkins has stayed out of trouble.
He said it: “I think I can do just about anything on the field from wide receiver to running back to the slot. I can make plays all over the field. What I love doing is dominating defenses. I think that’s what I bring to the game and I think that’s going to turn over to the NFL. When I come into the NFL, I think I can be that dominant receiver.”
The Buffalo News is profiling 50 prospects leading up to the NFL Draft, which begins on May 8.