Exploding on to the scene as a freshman with 1,219 yards on 82 catches and 12 touchdowns, it was plain to see Sammy Watkins was gifted and destined to achieve great things at the University of Clemson. While his speed is admittedly his greatest attribute, Watkins is looking to refine his game, particularly in the area of route running.
In reference to his desire to improve as a route runner, the Clemson wide receiver told reporters, “I can run just about any route from curls, to comebacks, to hitches to digs. I think I’m pretty much a good route runner, but there are a lot of areas I can improve in getting out of my routes. I think the area I have to really focus on is my curl routes and comebacks.” Watkins added, “I have to start getting my transition, knowing when to run full speed or not and when to sink my hips and get out of my routes.”
When asked about wide receivers he studies, he mentioned Calvin Johson, Larry Fitzgerald, Julio Jones, Alshon Jeffery and of course his former teammate DeAndre Hopkins. Watkins stated, “Those guys motivate me with their play every Sunday and I’m working to get on their level.” Realizing the competition is more difficult at the next level, Watkins understands that improving upon the nuances of the game is what will enable him to have success in the NFL. The future first round draft pick went on to say, “It’s a more physical sport in the NFL. You’re not going to be able to run free like I did in college. Guys are going to put their hands on me and play me a lot closer.”
While very aware of the things he needs to work on, Watkins certainly isn’t lacking in confidence. Fielding questions regarding what he brings to an NFL offense he responded, “I can do anything on the football field. I can run by just about anybody, that’s my objective, that’s my motive. Fly route, post, that’s what type of guy I am. I feel like I can score on just about any play when I get the ball and that’s the type of attitude you have to have at receiver.” Watkins continued, “I just love to dominate defenses. I can make plays from any position, running back, wide receiver and slot (receiver) and I think it will all translate to the NFL.”
With the talent that Watkins possesses, it’s very difficult to envision a scenario in which he is unable to find success in the NFL. At 6’0” 205 Lbs. he is one of the quickest to top speed from a static start I’ve seen since Percy Harvin entered the NFL. His quickness in conjunction with his top-end speed, versatility, run after the catch ability and work ethic have made him a hot commodity among NFL decision makers and rightfully so. Though he’s still polishing his game, look for Watkins to make an instant impact for his future team just as he did for his former.
More stories you might like