Clemson is losing a lot of star power this offseason. In addition to the departure of veteran starting QB Tajh Boyd, they will also be losing star junior receiver Sammy Watkins, who absolutely dominated in the Orange Bowl. His teammate, receiver Martavis Bryant, declared for the draft also.
Watkins’ final collegiate game was arguably his finest as a receiver, catching 16 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns in an exciting win over Ohio State.
This is a supremely talented player. He doesn’t have elite size like a Calvin Johnson but his ability to make plays from any part of the field as well as on special teams is a huge asset that teams will be excited to get their hands on.
As of right now, I really love his fit with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers running alongside Vincent Jackson, but there will be a lot of teams vying for the services of this young star in the making. He finished his collegiate career with 240 receptions for 3,391 yards and 27 touchdowns as well as 1,376 yards and a touchdown in kick returns, a passing touchdown, and a rushing touchdown in his career.
After a brilliant freshman campaign, Watkins regressed a bit as a sophomore but was dominant again as a Junior. Here’s our scouting report on him:
This is an impressive young prospect that I’ve been looking forward to evaluating. Doesn’t have size that will blow you away by any means, but he’s a solid 6’1″ 205 pound receiver who can work underneath, in the return game, out of the backfield, and deep down the field. He looks like a seasoned young player already in some of his route running. Catches the ball away from his frame and does a great job turning upfield after the catch. So quick in the open field and has great breakaway speed. Battled some injury issues in 2012, causing his numbers to take a huge dip after a freshman season where he took college football by storm, catching 82 passes for 1,219 yards and 12 touchdowns. I think after a tough sophomore slump, this dynamic playmaker will show great development as a junior. He is now undeniably the top target of Tajh Boyd in the passing game with DeAndre Hopkins off to the NFL, and if he can come out healthy, he has a chance to be a top 15 selection or better in the 2014 NFL Draft. This is a strong receiver who does a good job tracking the ball and making plays in the red zone. I am really excited about his future in the NFL. With some seasoning, he could wind up being one of the best receivers in the game five or six years down the road.