The Detroit Lions offense was explosive when both Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush were in the lineup. However, when one or both were missing the Lions struggled to move the ball, which is why finding a complementary threat opposite of Calvin Johnson is essential this offseason.
After missing on a few second round wide receivers in two of the past three drafts, there is a good chance the Lions draft a wide receiver with their first round pick. Enter Sammy Watkins of Clemson.
Notable Combine Measurables
Weight: 205 lbs
40-Yd Dash: 4.43 sec
225-lb Bench Press: 16 reps
Vertical Jump: 34″
Broad Jump: 126″
3-Cone Drill: 6.95 sec
20-Yd Shuttle: 4.34 sec
Traits and Projected Round
Sammy Watkins might be the best skills player in the draft and can burn defenses in a variety of ways. His exceptional speed and quickness make him a dangerous ball carrier on reverse plays and screen passes and he’s strong enough to take a hit from a secondary player on the edge and take it for six. Watkins is almost impossible to guard one on one on the outside and can beat defenders just as easy across the middle.
At this stage should be considered an average route runner, but there’s no reason to think that he can’t excel in that area with the right coaching.
Watkins is almost a lock for a top five pick. To secure his services the Lions will likely need to trade up which seems more plausible this year than in past years given how close the organization feels it is to winning now.
Why the Lions Could Draft Sammy Watkins
The Lions still have other positions they need to address, but unlike previous years, wide receiver trumps all other needs. The Lions are in “win now” mode and there isn’t a better complement to Calvin Johnson in this year’s draft then Sammy Watkins. He has the upside to eventually serve as the Lions primary target as Reggie Wayne did for the Colts after the retirement of Marvin Harrison.
The video below shows off Watkins ability to destroy a defense from any spot on the field whether that be pass or run. His home run threat paired with Reggie Bush and Calvin Johnson would give defensive coordinators nightmares.
Another plus for the Lions is he doesn’t appear to be the diva that players with his talent usually are, especially at the wide receiver position.