Entering yet another transition year, the Cleveland Browns must make the right decisions in the new regime’s first rookie draft. Cleveland has many holes to fill heading into 2014 and beyond, but with a deep talent pool there are “can’t miss” prospects. One of these players is Clemson WR Sammy Watkins.
With the No. 4 overall pick, the Browns should sidestep a quarterback and select Watkins. Simply put, Watkins is playmaker. His athleticism, speed and highlight-reel ability are key reasons why NFL teams are coveting the 20-year-old who decided to forego his senior season. Watkins is no stranger to stepping into the spotlight and performing at a high level. As a freshman at Clemson, he was selected as a first-team All-American. He would go on to repeat this feat during his sophomore and junior seasons. Last season, Watkins was able to haul in 101 passes for over 1,400 yards and 12 touchdowns, ultimately earning Orange Bowl MVP honors.
Watkins would be joining Pro Bowlers Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron, and newly-signed Andrew Hawkins, as receiving targets. The addition of Ben Tate should free up the receiving corps and allow big plays to be made downfield. Even with the emergence of Gordon, the Browns have been in constant search of a receiving duo who can routinely move the chains and make plays. Watkins, who ran a 4.43 officially in the 40-yard dash, would be a perfect fit for a young Cleveland Browns offense that has a number of weapons, but was unable to remain consistent. If the Browns decide to draft Watkins, they’ll be getting the player most NFL experts are calling the top-rated skill player in the draft.
Last season, the Browns were in familiar position in that they were inconsistent on offense. The addition of Watkins would provide yet another weapon for whomever is behind center. With all the organizational changes for the Browns during the offseason, the 2014 draft will help set the tone for Cleveland’s development.