Bills rookie receiver Sammy Watkins has NFL fans salivating with every freak highlight reel.
Buffalo traded up to nab Watkins at No. 4 overall in the draft because his football instincts and work ethic make him a potential star. Sunday in practice, he stopped Bills camp with a one-handed palming off a poorly positioned, back shoulder fade from quarterback E.J. Manuel.
Buffalo NBC affiliate WRGZ's Jonah Javad had the tapes rolling.
That may be the issue for Watkins. The Bills are a work in progress with a stopgap offensive line, a running QB that may or may not have the goods to reliably move chains from the pocket, and an overload of young weapons still carving out roles (see speedster Marqise Goodson, Mike Williams, Robert Woods, and electric backfield receiver C.J. Spiller). In other words, the second-year Manuel has all of these toys at his disposal and will have about half a second to get them the ball.
The projected lack of throwing time for Manuel will be doubly problematic this season. That’s because what made Watkins such a NFL commodity coming out of Clemson is ability to forge separation. Watkins can cut routes upfield on a dime without the tells that 90 percent of NFL wideouts give to defensive backs; that can give you enough of a window to reel in easy, deep balls.
From a practicality fantasy football standpoint, unless you’re in a year-to-year keeper league, let someone else pay for Watkins’ draft position. His numbers out of the box during year one simply won’t match what it will cost to acquire him. Instead, target last year’s trendy breakouts, Michael Floyd and DeAndre Hopkins, both of whom should comfortably out-produce Watkins in 2014 as third- and second-year starters, respectively.
Then again, there are receptions and there are earthquake-moving grabs you tell the grandkids about.
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