Next to incumbent starting quarterback EJ Manuel, Sammy Watkins may be under the most pressure amongst Buffalo Bills players for the 2014 season. By trading their 2015 first round pick to Cleveland to move up from ninth overall to fourth overall this year, the Bills selected Watkins. He will fill the void left by the departure of Stevie Johnson, who was traded to the San Francisco 49ers for a draft choice in 2015.
"As an athlete, you have to love the grind," said Watkins. "You have to love what it takes, being out there every day and getting coached up, competing with the guys that your playing with. That's what it is about."
Watkins had a stellar junior season for the Clemson Tigers in 2013. He had 101 catches, 1464 receiving yards, and 12 touchdowns. Those totals would have easily led the Bills in all categories. His speed and ability to run after the catch are welcome additions to a young Bills receiving core. The Bills will look to improve an offense that ranked 22nd overall in 2013. Watkins looks to be a big part of that equation.
Watkins, who participated in rookie minicamp over the weekend, has caught nearly everything thrown his way so far. The Bills were plagued at times last season by drops in crucial moments. Both Stevie Johnson and Scott Chandler dropped passed against the Atlanta Falcons on December 1, resulting in a 34-31 loss in overtime.
"It's everything on the line," said Watkins. "That's not just me, that's with the whole team, with the coaches, everybody." "We've got to win now. We can't wait a year or two from now. That's what he (Coach Marrone) is trying to preach."
Bills fan are excited for the potential that Sammy Watkins brings. Whether that potential translates into wins remains to be seen.
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