Inside The Bills

Projection for Watkins 2014 season

Posted by Chris Brown on June 11, 2014 – 9:15 am’s Bucky Brooks has put together a projected season stat line for Bills top pick Sammy Watkins along with a handful of other top rookie prospects for the 2014 season.

Brooks believes Watkins can be a dynamic weapon for Buffalo. He’s just not sure when it will all kick in for the Clemson product. Here’s his prediction.

Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills

Best-case scenario: The Bills are counting on Watkins to add juice to the passing game as the No. 1 option on the perimeter. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound speedster is a dynamic catch-and-run playmaker who also excels as a deep threat on the outside. With the Bills increasing the pace and tempo of their attack this season, Watkins will get plenty of touches on quick throws, bubble screens and deep shots designed to take advantage of a fatigued defense. With an offense looking for more explosive plays in the passing game, Buffalo should work to get Watkins at least six to eight touches per game.

Worst-case scenario: Rookie receivers typically struggle with the NFL transition, thanks to the complexities of the pro passing game. Watkins could encounter some growing pains, considering that he played in a spread offense at Clemson that didn’t feature a lot of route conversions based on coverage. (Thus, he might have a tough time identifying sight adjustments and hot routes in the Bills’ passing game.) Additionally, Watkins’ lack of experience running pro-style routes could prevent him from making an immediate impact as a No. 1 receiver.

Projection: 65 catches, 950 receiving yards, seven touchdowns.

These projected numbers aren’t far off from what A.J. Green did in his rookie season in 2011. He had 65 catches for 1,057 yards and seven touchdowns. He was also the number four overall pick in the 2011 draft.

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