Past meets present as two of the top rated receivers in this year’s National Football League draft prepare to suit up for their professional debut on the historic grounds of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Fourth overall pick Sammy Watkins and 12th overall selection Odell Beckham, Jr. of the New York Giants will mark their milestone moment in the season-opening NFL/Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio on Sunday, Aug. 3. Kickoff time for the preseason classic is at 8 p.m. EDT. Tickets are available now via ProFootballHOF.com.
Buffalo orchestrated a blockbuster draft day trade to move up to the fourth spot of May’s draft and select Watkins out of Clemson. The Giants nabbed Beckham eight picks later when they drafted the LSU receiver.
“I’m definitely excited for the opportunity to experience my pro debut at the Hall of Fame Game. It was one of the first things I noticed when I looked at the schedule after being drafted by the Bills,” Watkins shared. “Growing up a Bills fan, the chance to play in Canton on the same weekend that Andre Reed gets inducted into the Hall will be surreal.”
Beckham shard Watkins’ enthusiasm, “When I learned that I’ll be making my NFL debut at the Hall of Fame Game, my initial reaction was ‘Wow’. It’s the first game since the Super Bowl, so I’m sure everyone will be tuning in to get their football fix. It will also be an important first step for me, as I get my first experience playing against NFL players. I’m using the off-season program to learn what it takes to be a pro. The Hall of Fame Game is going to teach me what it takes to play like one.”
Andre Reed: “Sammy Watkins reminds me of myself”
The debut of Watkins and Beckham will take place just one day after the enshrinement of the Class of 2014 that includes two of the franchises’ greatest stars. Reed, who is Buffalo’s all-time leading receiver and Michael Strahan, the Giants all-time sack leader will be joined by five other members of the Class of 2014 – Derrick Brooks, Ray Guy, Claude Humphrey, Walter Jones, and Aeneas Williams – as they are enshrined on the night of Saturday, Aug. 2.
Giants and Bills fans can be on hand to witness the debuts of their first round picks. Good seats still remain for the NFL/Hall of Fame Game. Tickets may be purchased online at ProFootballHOF.com/2014tix or by calling 877-464-9526. Pro Football Hall of Fame Field at Fawcett Stadium is easily accessible by both cities. Drive time from Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y. to Hall of Fame Field is just 3.5 hours; while a direct, non-stop flight from LaGuardia Airport to Akron-Canton Airport is under 90 minutes.
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