Bills swing 'last-minute' deal to draft Clemson WR Sammy Watkins fourth overall
updated 12:48 PM , June 23, 2015
The Buffalo Bills made a big investment in Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins.
And now they're thinking playoffs.
With Watkins still available after three choices had been made in tonight's NFL draft, including the Jacksonville Jaguars snagging Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles third overall, the Bills pounced.
The Bills sent their ninth overall pick, next year's first-round pick and next year's fourth-round pick to the Cleveland Browns to move up five spots.
The Bills drafted the guy they claimed was the highest-rated player on their draft board.
Bills General Manager Doug Whaley admitted it was "a very high cost" to pay, but that Watkins was a risk worth taking. Whaley added the Bills are confident next year's first-round pick will be a late one. That means making the playoffs was involved in this trade calculation.
A Bills source informed me a couple hours before the draft that trade talks were quiet and they believed they would keep the ninth overall pick.
The Browns stepped up to make a deal the Bills liked. Whaley called it a "last-minute" trade.
Watkins is considered the best receiver in this year's draft class. He had 101 receptions for 1,464 yards and 12 touchdowns last year.
"He's automatically going to make our quarterback better and make us better as a team," Whaley said.
Watkins' arrival could mean movement among the others already on the depth chart, particularly veterans Stevie Johnson and Mike Williams. Third-year receiver T.J. Graham has been a disappointment so far.