Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Sammy Watkins: 'I have freakish talents'
By Paul Gutierrez
If Sammy Watkins is a target of the Oakland Raiders, who hold the No. 5 pick in May's NFL draft, that might be news to the former Clemson receiver.
Watkins, the top wideout in the draft who could go as high as No. 2 overall, told ESPN affiliate 95.7 The Game on Tuesday that he did not recall meeting with the Raiders at last month's combine in Indianapolis.
That's not to say, though, that Watkins is feeling shunned. As he put it, he has love for all 32 teams.
“I have some freakish talents and ability to make plays,” he said. “I can jump, run catch, make somebody miss. That's my game.”
It's a game and playmaking skill set badly needed by the rebuilding Raiders, who added veteran possession pass-catcher James Jones in free agency and return Rod Streater, Andre Holmes, Denarius Moore, Brice Butler and Juron Criner.
Watkins, though, plays bigger and faster than his listed 6-foot-1, 211 pounds, and many see him as Denarius Moore 2.0.
“I'm able to transition myself and work through tough conditions,” Watkins said. “I understand football and the preparation, so for me, it's getting in with the team I'm with and learn that playbook. That's all I need to do is really learn that playbook, and after that, just adjusting to the speed of the game and how cornerbacks play in the NFL.
“That would be the next step. I think after the first few games I'll be definitely fine.”
Watkins said he patterned his game after many different NFL receivers, listing Julio Jones, Torrey Smith, DeAndre Hopkins, Alshon Jeffery and Larry Fitzgerald. He was also asked where his skill set would best be put to use on an NFL field.
“If you want to make a lot of plays and help your team, I think ‘Z' would definitely be the position, because if they flip the coverage to your side, you definitely got one-on-one back side,” he said of what is commonly known as the flanker. “I think for me to spread the field and getting down the field and have space, the ‘Z' would be a nice position for me.”
And his favorite route to run?
“I would probably say a dig, probably a speed dig or a regular dig,” Watkins said. “You can't really stop those.”