Sammy Watkins has been the talk of the receiving class early in 2014 NFL Draft talks. Many label him as the wide-out in this class who has the most NFL projected success. Teams early in this draft will have a hard time passing on Watkins; will one of those teams be the Cleveland Browns?
The general consensus has Cleveland taking a quarterback. While Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel will all be options, the Browns could absolutely use another weapon on that offense. One like Watkins would be tough to pass on.
It would make sense that the Browns prefer either one or two quarterbacks in the top-three. Most teams won’t settle for all three quarterbacks this early, so there’s a chance that the Texans and Jaguars swipe away one or two QBs that the Cleveland brass likes. If their lowest-rated of the three quarterbacks is the only one on the board, look for the team to go elsewhere.
A player like Khalil Mack could still be available, but the Browns ultimately need to help their offense. Having a playmaker across from Josh Gordon and next to Jordan Cameron would give the offense an extraordinary receiving corps to help whoever is under center in 2014.
Watkins brings a strong, physical presence to a depth chart. He projects to be a big-yardage guy at the next level, but his receptions could end up being between 80 and 90 a year depending on the system.
Passing on a quarterback might end up being a major risk, but don’t forget about the second first-round pick the team owns. A player like Derek Carr might be an option here. If not, there will be talent at the top of the second.
The decision is ultimately a toss-up, but it shouldn’t be overlooked when trying attempt to project how the first round will shake out.