Tonight’s show was our first chance to look back at the 2014 draft class for the Buffalo Bills. We asked the listeners to grade the Bills Draft and their overall thoughts on what the team did during this past weekend.
At the bottom of the first hour, we recapped the draft with the Bills Director of College Scouting Kelvin Fisher. Fisher broke down the process of building the team’s draft board and discussed the adjustments that were made throughout the weekend. He is happy with all the picks the Bills made but made it clear, what made the weekend great was the trade to get Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins.
“It’s one of those moves, to be honest with you, we’re like wow you have a chance and that’s what made it so exciting. You’re sitting there and you’re thinking man, we’d love to have him but is there a chance for us to get him. When we got him, it was just electrifying to know that we got the best player in the draft.”
Fisher also touched on the team’s second round pick, Alabama offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio. There were some concerns heading into the draft about the health of Kouandjio regarding his injured knee. That obviously was not a major red flag to the Bills staff who took the tackle 44th overall. Fisher feels he can be a long-term starter at the position.
“He hasn’t missed a game, he hasn’t missed practice, and at the combine he didn’t work out well but his pro days he got better. That tells you something about the kid. He went to the combine and didn’t work out well, so he went and worked on everything he had to do to get better. He goes to his pro day and has a good pro day. Goes back and works out to get everything better for the second pro day and has another pro day that he’s better at. The guy is a worker and a professional and that’s what I think will transfer into this league.”
Fisher also said that Kouandjio was fired up that he did not get drafted in the first round and feels that he’s going to prove his worth to everyone, every Sunday. Fisher also talked about the other linemen the team drafted, describing them as big mauler-type guys.
Clemson football radio color analyst Will Merritt called in to the show. Merritt has been a close observer of the Bills first round pick, Sammy Watkins. He explains the wide receiver as not just a great speed guy, but a strong, physical wide-out.
“He’s got great lower body strength. The reason he plays so much bigger than his stature is he is a snatcher. He goes up and snatches the ball out of the air. He will go to the apex of the pass and he will bring the ball down with his hands. A lot of people will go well aren’t all wide receivers supposed to catch with their hands? It’s really a misnomer that a lot of guys don’t trap the ball with their body and Sammy does none of that. He snatches the ball out of the air with very, very strong hands. He’s very secure at the point of impact as far as catching the ball and what he does in terms of yards after the catch is something to marvel at. What he did in leading the nation in yards after the catch this past year is that a lot of those were after contact as well.”
Merritt also describes when the light turned on for Watkins to become one of the best receivers in the nation. After a subpar sophomore year, he describes Watkins junior and final year at Clemson as a bounce back moment.
“He worked his tail off in the offseason. He then became a duel-threat guy. In the jet sweep, they put him in motion the majority of the time. They handed the ball off to him and his rushing stats went out the roof in addition to his receiving stats. The dip, in my opinion, was just from a schematic approach from opposing teams trying to slow him down the best they could. In his last year they really just couldn’t do it.”
Merritt described Watkins as a respectful young man with poise and charisma. He says he is a type of person that you can root for during the game on Sunday and also off the field as well.
You can listen to Monday’s full John Murphy Show, below:
(Fisher – 23:53, Merritt – 01:06:20)
Posted in Inside the Bills