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Carter_Can_Fly

Sammy Watkins the next Andre Johnson...

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He has good tape. He's got as good of a chance as anybody in this draft to be the best WR in this class. Some questions were answered though.

The bad.

He is not an elite athlete.

He is not going to overwhelm NFL CB with his speed or his size.

He's not going to out jump people.

He's not going to be an elite red zone target.

Everybody says why just because of 1 inch? Yes. Just because he is 6'0 and not 6'2 he is going to have to completely buck the trend to be an elite red zone target. Guess what? He's not going to do it. Why? Because he's not a special athlete. He has close to zero chance of being an elite red zone target. Can he be an above average red zone target? Maybe. Lets see who he gets to catch passes from because that makes a big difference.

The good.

He's a good route runner.

He came into the combine at 211 pounds. Great weight for his height.

He has good hands.

On tape he's plenty fast enough in and out of his breaks.

He looks fantastic on tape but there is reason to question why he is a top 5 lock right now. I wouldn't take any WR under 6'2 in the top 5 unless he was a Percy Harvin like athlete.

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The website has all of this information in a handy little chart. You want to see what an elite athlete's chart looks like? Check out Calvin Johnson's, or Mario Williams', or Vernon Davis'. Again, Watkins is a good athlete for an NFL WR, but he's a long way from elite.

Those charts are great at identifying big WR's - if you only follow that you'll end up drafting Jeff Janis over Watkins.

Here's Randall Cobb's chart, he looks terrible. Greg Little looks like a stud. Definitely gotta get Jon Baldwin.

That is the thing. If 'elite' only meant combine numbers then maybe people could validate themselves with only looking at those numbers. Taking 2 days at the combine that tests a few traits of athleticism is not the sole way to determine being athletic. Heck they are not even working with pads on.

If we go with the no pads look let us dealve into what Watkins actually did athetically.

As a track athlete Watkins has an official 100 meter race of 10.59 seconds. At the last US Olympic qualifying trials the final results were as follows: Justin Gatlin finished first at 9.80 seconds and the 8th place finisher in the final was Walter Dix who clocked in at 10.95 seconds. Therefore Watkin's 10.59 seconds would have had him as one of the 8 fastert Americans trying to qualify for the Olympics.

Do you think if you went and asked some defensive coordinators that game planned for Watkins if they thought he was an elite athlete and player what would they say? What would his own coaches and teammates say about him? What would other athletes say about him? When he gets drafted in the top 10 of the NFL draft would you think the GM would say "ya he just an average athlete?" You think GM's look at that "handy little chart" and say, hmmm this guy is just not elite.

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He might not be an elite athlete relative to NFL standards. I think he is just elite at being a WR and that is way more important that how tall or fast he is.

Agreed. I think Watkins is the slam-dunk #1 rookie pick this year. I'm just trying to make sure that the information is as accurate as possible. Watkins simply isn't an elite athletic specimen. He's an above-average athlete with elite football skills. More of an A.J. Green than a Julio Jones.

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The website has all of this information in a handy little chart. You want to see what an elite athlete's chart looks like? Check out Calvin Johnson's, or Mario Williams', or Vernon Davis'. Again, Watkins is a good athlete for an NFL WR, but he's a long way from elite.

Those charts are great at identifying big WR's - if you only follow that you'll end up drafting Jeff Janis over Watkins.

Here's Randall Cobb's chart, he looks terrible. Greg Little looks like a stud. Definitely gotta get Jon Baldwin.

That is the thing. If 'elite' only meant combine numbers then maybe people could validate themselves with only looking at those numbers. Taking 2 days at the combine that tests a few traits of athleticism is not the sole way to determine being athletic. Heck they are not even working with pads on.

If we go with the no pads look let us dealve into what Watkins actually did athetically.

As a track athlete Watkins has an official 100 meter race of 10.59 seconds. At the last US Olympic qualifying trials the final results were as follows: Justin Gatlin finished first at 9.80 seconds and the 8th place finisher in the final was Walter Dix who clocked in at 10.95 seconds. Therefore Watkin's 10.59 seconds would have had him as one of the 8 fastert Americans trying to qualify for the Olympics.

Do you think if you went and asked some defensive coordinators that game planned for Watkins if they thought he was an elite athlete and player what would they say? What would his own coaches and teammates say about him? What would other athletes say about him? When he gets drafted in the top 10 of the NFL draft would you think the GM would say "ya he just an average athlete?" You think GM's look at that "handy little chart" and say, hmmm this guy is just not elite.

You are getting caught up in semantics and you keep flip-flopping on what you are arguing is elite about Watkins (elite athlete vs elite WR skills), so I don't know why you are fighting for this so hard. Elite obviously means something else to you. It's like calling someone who does something different a "genius". It gets thrown around too easily.

Elite should be for a very select few. As someone said earlier, Watkins is an "elite" athlete when compared to any random person. But when compared to other NFL WRs, he's not an "elite" athlete. His measurables prove that. "Elite athlete" is reserved for guys that are head and shoulders above their peers. Calvin, Vernon Davis, Adrian Peterson.

Watkins may very well have the skills to be an elite WR, but he's simply not an elite athlete.

Edited by doowain

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The website has all of this information in a handy little chart. You want to see what an elite athlete's chart looks like? Check out Calvin Johnson's, or Mario Williams', or Vernon Davis'. Again, Watkins is a good athlete for an NFL WR, but he's a long way from elite.

Those charts are great at identifying big WR's - if you only follow that you'll end up drafting Jeff Janis over Watkins.

Here's Randall Cobb's chart, he looks terrible. Greg Little looks like a stud. Definitely gotta get Jon Baldwin.

I never said that the chart shows who is going to be good at the NFL level. I said that the chart measures how good of an athlete players are relative to others at their position. And yeah, Little and Baldwin are both more athletically gifted than Randall Cobb. I don't think this is really a controversial statement.

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The website has all of this information in a handy little chart. You want to see what an elite athlete's chart looks like? Check out Calvin Johnson's, or Mario Williams', or Vernon Davis'. Again, Watkins is a good athlete for an NFL WR, but he's a long way from elite.

Those charts are great at identifying big WR's - if you only follow that you'll end up drafting Jeff Janis over Watkins.

Here's Randall Cobb's chart, he looks terrible. Greg Little looks like a stud. Definitely gotta get Jon Baldwin.

I never said that the chart shows who is going to be good at the NFL level. I said that the chart measures how good of an athlete players are relative to others at their position. And yeah, Little and Baldwin are both more athletically gifted than Randall Cobb. I don't think this is really a controversial statement.

I even prefaced the posting of that link with "I don't know how useful this site is in the grand scheme of player evaluation, because it doesn't take into account playing style, football intelligence, or intangibles". I don't know how it could be spelled out any more and, even then, common sense tells you that measurables aren't the only factor in the equation. It's not even the biggest factor, as most of the guys on that site with elite level measurables have not made it in the NFL.

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The website has all of this information in a handy little chart. You want to see what an elite athlete's chart looks like? Check out Calvin Johnson's, or Mario Williams', or Vernon Davis'. Again, Watkins is a good athlete for an NFL WR, but he's a long way from elite.

Those charts are great at identifying big WR's - if you only follow that you'll end up drafting Jeff Janis over Watkins.

Here's Randall Cobb's chart, he looks terrible. Greg Little looks like a stud. Definitely gotta get Jon Baldwin.

That is the thing. If 'elite' only meant combine numbers then maybe people could validate themselves with only looking at those numbers. Taking 2 days at the combine that tests a few traits of athleticism is not the sole way to determine being athletic. Heck they are not even working with pads on.

If we go with the no pads look let us dealve into what Watkins actually did athetically.

As a track athlete Watkins has an official 100 meter race of 10.59 seconds. At the last US Olympic qualifying trials the final results were as follows: Justin Gatlin finished first at 9.80 seconds and the 8th place finisher in the final was Walter Dix who clocked in at 10.95 seconds. Therefore Watkin's 10.59 seconds would have had him as one of the 8 fastert Americans trying to qualify for the Olympics.

Do you think if you went and asked some defensive coordinators that game planned for Watkins if they thought he was an elite athlete and player what would they say? What would his own coaches and teammates say about him? What would other athletes say about him? When he gets drafted in the top 10 of the NFL draft would you think the GM would say "ya he just an average athlete?" You think GM's look at that "handy little chart" and say, hmmm this guy is just not elite.

Ummmm... no. All that says is that Sammy Watkins ran better in his very best race ever than Walter Dix ran in one particular race (with no context- was Dix injured? Did he get a terrible start? Is Dix past his prime and he was only given a spot in the qualifier because of past accomplishments? Honestly, I don't follow track closely enough to know the context.) If you want to compare Watkins' personal best to Dix's (9.88), Watkins gets humiliated.

No amount of spin will turn Watkins into an elite speedster. That 10.59 100 time is a nice little accomplishment. So is his 4.4 forty. It's also not that exceptional in the grand scheme of things, compared to NFL-caliber athletes at his position. It's above average, but we're talking about just one standard deviation above the mean. And it was also one of his best results. Watkins doesn't have any of those elite, 90th+ percentile physical traits that a guy like Tavon Austin, Percy Harvin, Julio Jones, Calvin Johnson, or Cordarrelle Patterson possess.

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You are getting caught up in semantics and you keep flip-flopping on what you are arguing is elite about Watkins (elite athlete vs elite WR skills), so I don't know why you are fighting for this so hard. Elite obviously means something else to you. It's like calling someone who does something different a "genius". It gets thrown around too easily.

Elite should be for a very select few. As someone said earlier, Watkins is an "elite" athlete when compared to any random person. But when compared to other NFL WRs, he's not an "elite" athlete. His measurables prove that. "Elite athlete" is reserved for guys that are head and shoulders above their peers. Calvin, Vernon Davis, Adrian Peterson.

Watkins may very well have the skills to be an elite WR, but he's simply not an elite athlete.

Well if that's the bar you're setting then obviously he's not 'elite' and neither are guys like DT and Dez - heck A.J. Green isn't either.

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You are getting caught up in semantics and you keep flip-flopping on what you are arguing is elite about Watkins (elite athlete vs elite WR skills), so I don't know why you are fighting for this so hard. Elite obviously means something else to you. It's like calling someone who does something different a "genius". It gets thrown around too easily.

Elite should be for a very select few. As someone said earlier, Watkins is an "elite" athlete when compared to any random person. But when compared to other NFL WRs, he's not an "elite" athlete. His measurables prove that. "Elite athlete" is reserved for guys that are head and shoulders above their peers. Calvin, Vernon Davis, Adrian Peterson.

Watkins may very well have the skills to be an elite WR, but he's simply not an elite athlete.

Well if that's the bar you're setting then obviously he's not 'elite' and neither are guys like DT and Dez - heck A.J. Green isn't either.

A.J. Green is *NOT* an elite athlete. That was always the decision at the top of the draft in 2011- Green was the more polished receiver, but Jones was a much, much better athlete.

Demaryius and Dez are both ludicrously good athletes. Demaryius had a broken foot at the combine and couldn't run, but he's probably a tenth faster than Watkins and 15-20 pounds heavier. Thomas is as far above Watkins as Watkins is above the league average. Dez posted an 11' broad jump and his split over the first 10 yards of the 40 was 1.53, both of which point to All-Universe explosion, despite again being bigger than Watkins.

Not all elite receivers are elite athletes. Not all elite athletes are elite receivers. If we're going to be praising someone, though, let's make sure we're doing it for the right thing. Sammy Watkins is a phenomenal prospect, but it's not because he's just so athletically gifted. He's an above-average NFL athlete, but he's not going in the top 10 because of what he brings to the table physically, like a Julio Jones or Vernon Davis did. Sammy Watkins is not an elite athlete.

Edit: Larry Fitzgerald was never an elite athlete, either.

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You are getting caught up in semantics and you keep flip-flopping on what you are arguing is elite about Watkins (elite athlete vs elite WR skills), so I don't know why you are fighting for this so hard. Elite obviously means something else to you. It's like calling someone who does something different a "genius". It gets thrown around too easily.

Elite should be for a very select few. As someone said earlier, Watkins is an "elite" athlete when compared to any random person. But when compared to other NFL WRs, he's not an "elite" athlete. His measurables prove that. "Elite athlete" is reserved for guys that are head and shoulders above their peers. Calvin, Vernon Davis, Adrian Peterson.

Watkins may very well have the skills to be an elite WR, but he's simply not an elite athlete.

Well if that's the bar you're setting then obviously he's not 'elite' and neither are guys like DT and Dez - heck A.J. Green isn't either.

A.J. Green is *NOT* an elite athlete. That was always the decision at the top of the draft in 2011- Green was the more polished receiver, but Jones was a much, much better athlete.

Demaryius and Dez are both ludicrously good athletes. Demaryius had a broken foot at the combine and couldn't run, but he's probably a tenth faster than Watkins and 15-20 pounds heavier. Thomas is as far above Watkins as Watkins is above the league average. Dez posted an 11' broad jump and his split over the first 10 yards of the 40 was 1.53, both of which point to All-Universe explosion, despite again being bigger than Watkins.

Not all elite receivers are elite athletes. Not all elite athletes are elite receivers. If we're going to be praising someone, though, let's make sure we're doing it for the right thing. Sammy Watkins is a phenomenal prospect, but it's not because he's just so athletically gifted. He's an above-average NFL athlete, but he's not going in the top 10 because of what he brings to the table physically, like a Julio Jones or Vernon Davis did. Sammy Watkins is not an elite athlete.

Edit: Larry Fitzgerald was never an elite athlete, either.

Spot on.

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Dez posted an 11' broad jump and his split over the first 10 yards of the 40 was 1.53, both of which point to All-Universe explosion, despite again being bigger than Watkins.

Dez's broad and vertical were better but Watkins is faster - 4.43 at the combine vs. Dez 4.52 at his Pro Day. Watkins 10 yard split was also 1.53.

I do agree that Dez is a better overall athlete than Watkins but they are in the same neighborhood.

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Dez posted an 11' broad jump and his split over the first 10 yards of the 40 was 1.53, both of which point to All-Universe explosion, despite again being bigger than Watkins.

Dez's broad and vertical were better but Watkins is faster - 4.43 at the combine vs. Dez 4.52 at his Pro Day. Watkins 10 yard split was also 1.53.

I do agree that Dez is a better overall athlete than Watkins but they are in the same neighborhood.

Do you remember this?

I'm not a fan of excuses, but it would explain a lot if accurate.

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Demaryius had a broken foot at the combine and couldn't run, but he's probably a tenth faster than Watkins and 15-20 pounds heavier.

There's no official time for DT, only his claim that he ran a 4.38. I suppose we should accept Watkins claim of running a 4.2 then.

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I get what some of you are saying.

In hindsight I guess it is not so simple to determine elite athlete vs elite football player.

To me I think it is more then results at a combine that will define someone as elite.

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Dez posted an 11' broad jump and his split over the first 10 yards of the 40 was 1.53, both of which point to All-Universe explosion, despite again being bigger than Watkins.

Dez's broad and vertical were better but Watkins is faster - 4.43 at the combine vs. Dez 4.52 at his Pro Day. Watkins 10 yard split was also 1.53.

I do agree that Dez is a better overall athlete than Watkins but they are in the same neighborhood.

I would say that they're similar in a lot of ways, but that 11'1" broad jump is a huge edge to Dez. That's a really elite mark. IIRC, the combine record is 11'4". An 11' broad jump is akin to a 4.2 forty.

If you think that Bryant and Watkins are similar athletes, though, then that's fine. All that does is take Dez off of the "elite" list, not get Sammy added to it.

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Dez posted an 11' broad jump and his split over the first 10 yards of the 40 was 1.53, both of which point to All-Universe explosion, despite again being bigger than Watkins.

Dez's broad and vertical were better but Watkins is faster - 4.43 at the combine vs. Dez 4.52 at his Pro Day. Watkins 10 yard split was also 1.53.

I do agree that Dez is a better overall athlete than Watkins but they are in the same neighborhood.

Do you remember this?

I'm not a fan of excuses, but it would explain a lot if accurate.

Yes, and I also remember this.

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You are getting caught up in semantics and you keep flip-flopping on what you are arguing is elite about Watkins (elite athlete vs elite WR skills), so I don't know why you are fighting for this so hard. Elite obviously means something else to you. It's like calling someone who does something different a "genius". It gets thrown around too easily.

Elite should be for a very select few. As someone said earlier, Watkins is an "elite" athlete when compared to any random person. But when compared to other NFL WRs, he's not an "elite" athlete. His measurables prove that. "Elite athlete" is reserved for guys that are head and shoulders above their peers. Calvin, Vernon Davis, Adrian Peterson.

Watkins may very well have the skills to be an elite WR, but he's simply not an elite athlete.

Well if that's the bar you're setting then obviously he's not 'elite' and neither are guys like DT and Dez - heck A.J. Green isn't either.

A.J. Green is *NOT* an elite athlete. That was always the decision at the top of the draft in 2011- Green was the more polished receiver, but Jones was a much, much better athlete.

Demaryius and Dez are both ludicrously good athletes. Demaryius had a broken foot at the combine and couldn't run, but he's probably a tenth faster than Watkins and 15-20 pounds heavier. Thomas is as far above Watkins as Watkins is above the league average. Dez posted an 11' broad jump and his split over the first 10 yards of the 40 was 1.53, both of which point to All-Universe explosion, despite again being bigger than Watkins.

Not all elite receivers are elite athletes. Not all elite athletes are elite receivers. If we're going to be praising someone, though, let's make sure we're doing it for the right thing. Sammy Watkins is a phenomenal prospect, but it's not because he's just so athletically gifted. He's an above-average NFL athlete, but he's not going in the top 10 because of what he brings to the table physically, like a Julio Jones or Vernon Davis did. Sammy Watkins is not an elite athlete.

Edit: Larry Fitzgerald was never an elite athlete, either.

Nice

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I get what some of you are saying.

In hindsight I guess it is not so simple to determine elite athlete vs elite football player.

To me I think it is more then results at a combine that will define someone as elite.

I'm getting too hung up on the term 'elite'...suffice to say that I believe Watkins has all the physical attributes to be a top 5 fantasy receiver.

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Demaryius had a broken foot at the combine and couldn't run, but he's probably a tenth faster than Watkins and 15-20 pounds heavier.

There's no official time for DT, only his claim that he ran a 4.38. I suppose we should accept Watkins claim of running a 4.2 then.

Yeah, relying on self-reports is a dubious practice, which is why I didn't say that Demaryius ran a 4.38. Even without objective results, I feel comfortable saying that Demaryius is a much better size/speed combo than Sammy Watkins.

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I get what some of you are saying.

In hindsight I guess it is not so simple to determine elite athlete vs elite football player.

To me I think it is more then results at a combine that will define someone as elite.

I'm getting too hung up on the term 'elite'...suffice to say that I believe Watkins has all the physical attributes to be a top 5 fantasy receiver.

Sure. He's a better athlete than Jerry Rice. He's probably comparable athletically to Larry Fitzgerald. If Sammy Watkins becomes a top-5 fantasy receiver, though, it won't be because of his physical attributes.

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You are getting caught up in semantics and you keep flip-flopping on what you are arguing is elite about Watkins (elite athlete vs elite WR skills), so I don't know why you are fighting for this so hard. Elite obviously means something else to you. It's like calling someone who does something different a "genius". It gets thrown around too easily.

Elite should be for a very select few. As someone said earlier, Watkins is an "elite" athlete when compared to any random person. But when compared to other NFL WRs, he's not an "elite" athlete. His measurables prove that. "Elite athlete" is reserved for guys that are head and shoulders above their peers. Calvin, Vernon Davis, Adrian Peterson.

Watkins may very well have the skills to be an elite WR, but he's simply not an elite athlete.

Well if that's the bar you're setting then obviously he's not 'elite' and neither are guys like DT and Dez - heck A.J. Green isn't either.

Big difference between all those guys and Watkins. They are all big WR. Watkins is not a big WR. He's not tiny but I would def classify him as small.

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I get what some of you are saying.

In hindsight I guess it is not so simple to determine elite athlete vs elite football player.

To me I think it is more then results at a combine that will define someone as elite.

I'm getting too hung up on the term 'elite'...suffice to say that I believe Watkins has all the physical attributes to be a top 5 fantasy receiver.

absolutely not.

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I get what some of you are saying.

In hindsight I guess it is not so simple to determine elite athlete vs elite football player.

To me I think it is more then results at a combine that will define someone as elite.

I'm getting too hung up on the term 'elite'...suffice to say that I believe Watkins has all the physical attributes to be a top 5 fantasy receiver.

Sure. He's a better athlete than Jerry Rice. He's probably comparable athletically to Larry Fitzgerald. If Sammy Watkins becomes a top-5 fantasy receiver, though, it won't be because of his physical attributes.

Wouldn't that be to early to tell?

If after a few season the tape shows Watkins is making guys miss, running by defenders, snatching balls away from defenders, perhaps running over some guys is that not proving his physical attributes are elite? When do you start giving guys credit for actually showing their physical attributes in elite ways during an actual game?

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I get what some of you are saying.

In hindsight I guess it is not so simple to determine elite athlete vs elite football player.

To me I think it is more then results at a combine that will define someone as elite.

I'm getting too hung up on the term 'elite'...suffice to say that I believe Watkins has all the physical attributes to be a top 5 fantasy receiver.

Sure. He's a better athlete than Jerry Rice. He's probably comparable athletically to Larry Fitzgerald. If Sammy Watkins becomes a top-5 fantasy receiver, though, it won't be because of his physical attributes.

Completely agree. It will be his route running and hands that get him there and it's a long shot. He doesn't have an above the rim game at all.

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He's a sober Justin Blackmon that might actually translate into the NFl what Blackmon looked like in college...and that's pretty good.

But he's nowhere close to most of these other guys being compared to in this thread. That's not to say he can't be a great player or put up similar fantasy numbers but he's not that type of guy.

It's like saying Andre Johnson is like Terrell Owens. but not like Randy Moss. All great, just very different. Many similar attributes but many different tools.

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I get what some of you are saying.

In hindsight I guess it is not so simple to determine elite athlete vs elite football player.

To me I think it is more then results at a combine that will define someone as elite.

I'm getting too hung up on the term 'elite'...suffice to say that I believe Watkins has all the physical attributes to be a top 5 fantasy receiver.

Sure. He's a better athlete than Jerry Rice. He's probably comparable athletically to Larry Fitzgerald. If Sammy Watkins becomes a top-5 fantasy receiver, though, it won't be because of his physical attributes.

Completely agree. It will be his route running and hands that get him there and it's a long shot. He doesn't have an above the rim game at all.

Agree. At this level, they are all world-class and can easily dazzle us with their athletic ability, some more than others and those get the REAL hype. But the difference in performance in the NFL is from the neck up and that's not opinion; you can hear that being echoed by players, GMs, owners, etc ad naseum.

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He came in way heavier than expected at the combine and that was the big surprise to me. He is massive for his height. Right near the top of the WR range. Here are relevant combine numbers from other WRs in the 28+ BMI range:

NAME - BMI / 40 / BROAD JUMP / VERTICAL

Sammy Watkins - 28.1 / 4.43 / 10'5" / 34"

Andre Johnson - 29.5 / 4.41 / 10'9" / 41"

Vincent Jackson - 28.8 / 4.46 / 10'9" / 39"

Dez Bryant - 28.8 / 4.52 / 11'0" / 38"

Calvin Johnson - 28.3 / 4.35 / 11'7" / 42.5"

Larry Fitzgerald - 28.2 / 4.48 / ?? / ??

Victor Cruz - 28.2 / 4.47 / 10'5" / 41.5"

Watkins has one of the best 40 times among elite players from this size range. Only Calvin and Andre were faster. So I think it's fair to say that his speed is freakish for his size. His other marks were disappointing. For an elite #1 WR, there seems to be a cutoff at ~ 35" in the vertical and 10' in the broad jump. If you don't hit those marks, you're probably not going to be an elite #1. Watkins failed to hit the mark with his 34" vertical. Among consensus elite NFL WRs, nobody else did that poorly (even considering lighter players like Julio, Harvin, Roddy, and Marshall). AJ Green is the closest with a 34.5" vertical. So it's fair to say that, relative to elite WRs, Watkins was flat out bad in that drill. His 10'5" broad jump was neither great nor terrible. There seems to be a clear correlation between that drill and height. Taller players do better because of their longer legs. So you'd kind of expect Watkins to be lower than guys like Andre, Calvin, and Dez who are 1.5"+ taller than him. At the same time, you usually expect fast players to do well in that drill and 10'5" is mildly disappointing for a guy with Sammy's reputation for vertical explosiveness. Tre Mason and Bishop Sankey both hit 10'5" this year even though they're only 5'8"-5'9". Lache Seastrunk somehow managed an 11'2" at 5'9". Those are really good numbers at their height. 10'5" for a 6'+ WR is just meh. It's not horrendous like the 9'7" from DeAndre Hopkins last year, but it's not quite what you want.

On the balance, I think Watkins is a little ways off the "freak" standard in terms of measured athletic ability. He did not show the degree of explosiveness that you would've hoped for given his reputation. However, his weight/height ratio is a lot higher than people probably realize and his sheer size/speed combo is freakish.

He wasn't even the biggest workout freak in this WR class though. That distinction probably goes to...

Donte Moncrief - 28.3 / 4.40 / 11'0" / 39.5"

Purely as an "on paper" athlete, Moncrief is about as good as it gets. If it were that simple though then Da'Rick would probably have been the best WR in last year's draft. There is a correlation between good numbers and elite careers at WR, but they still have to actually play the games.

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Sounding more and more like me there EBF ;)

Totally agree that Watkins has nothing to do with the other WRs being mentioned here -- especially Andre. He's much more like a pre-roid David Boston or, especially, a pre-injury Hakeem Nicks (only faster).

And who knows what Da'Rick Rodgers could have been if he didn't fall short on some of the character areas.

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He might not be an elite athlete relative to NFL standards. I think he is just elite at being a WR and that is way more important that how tall or fast he is.

Agreed. I think Watkins is the slam-dunk #1 rookie pick this year. I'm just trying to make sure that the information is as accurate as possible. Watkins simply isn't an elite athletic specimen. He's an above-average athlete with elite football skills. More of an A.J. Green than a Julio Jones.

I think this is the key point here, and one that several other people in the thread have made. My enthusiasm for Watkins isn't deflated in the least because he's not one of those rare guys who possesses both elite athleticism and elite WR skills. As several other people have noted, you're best off having the latter if you can't have both. It'd be nice if every class had a Calvin/Dez/Julio type guy but I also think that the top tier of dynasty WRs being populated by these guys skews one's sense of anticipation by posing an unrealistic comparison. Freakish athletes with elite WR skills just don't come along a lot. Moreover, that hasn't always mattered for FF; as others in the thread have mentioned, players with above average athletic traits but elite WR skills have been top WR1s. If the comps that make the most sense in this thread--a faster Nicks, a more athletic Blackmon--come true, whoever has Watkins is going to be thrilled.

Edited by DAG

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The website has all of this information in a handy little chart. You want to see what an elite athlete's chart looks like? Check out Calvin Johnson's, or Mario Williams', or Vernon Davis'. Again, Watkins is a good athlete for an NFL WR, but he's a long way from elite.

Those charts are great at identifying big WR's - if you only follow that you'll end up drafting Jeff Janis over Watkins.

Here's Randall Cobb's chart, he looks terrible. Greg Little looks like a stud. Definitely gotta get Jon Baldwin.

That is the thing. If 'elite' only meant combine numbers then maybe people could validate themselves with only looking at those numbers. Taking 2 days at the combine that tests a few traits of athleticism is not the sole way to determine being athletic. Heck they are not even working with pads on.

If we go with the no pads look let us dealve into what Watkins actually did athetically.

As a track athlete Watkins has an official 100 meter race of 10.59 seconds. At the last US Olympic qualifying trials the final results were as follows: Justin Gatlin finished first at 9.80 seconds and the 8th place finisher in the final was Walter Dix who clocked in at 10.95 seconds. Therefore Watkin's 10.59 seconds would have had him as one of the 8 fastert Americans trying to qualify for the Olympics.

Do you think if you went and asked some defensive coordinators that game planned for Watkins if they thought he was an elite athlete and player what would they say? What would his own coaches and teammates say about him? What would other athletes say about him? When he gets drafted in the top 10 of the NFL draft would you think the GM would say "ya he just an average athlete?" You think GM's look at that "handy little chart" and say, hmmm this guy is just not elite.

Yes, Watkins could have beaten an elite track guy when he ran with one leg.

You realize you just compared Watkins to a runner that pulled a muscle at the 50m/60m mark of that Olympic qualifying race.. right? :doh:

Dix is/was a sub 9.9 runner... he limped through the line.

eta - without looking, from experience I'd imagine he would finish near last in a highschool meet in TX at 10.59... just to put that ~half second in perspective for how far away from elite it is.

Edited by matuski

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All this is not to hate on Watkins, obviously the guy is great. Some people need to pump the breaks on the hype, however.

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Haha. Yea. Walter Dix is much faster than 10.95. That time wouldn't even win a lot of HS leagues in California.

Anyone who can run under 11 is a really fast person, but elite world class track speed is sub 10 these days.

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Dez posted an 11' broad jump and his split over the first 10 yards of the 40 was 1.53, both of which point to All-Universe explosion, despite again being bigger than Watkins.

Dez's broad and vertical were better but Watkins is faster - 4.43 at the combine vs. Dez 4.52 at his Pro Day. Watkins 10 yard split was also 1.53.

I do agree that Dez is a better overall athlete than Watkins but they are in the same neighborhood.

I would say that they're similar in a lot of ways, but that 11'1" broad jump is a huge edge to Dez. That's a really elite mark. IIRC, the combine record is 11'4". An 11' broad jump is akin to a 4.2 forty.

If you think that Bryant and Watkins are similar athletes, though, then that's fine. All that does is take Dez off of the "elite" list, not get Sammy added to it.

I think Jamie Collins broke the record last year with an 11'7". He almost jumped over the marker boundary.

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All this is not to hate on Watkins, obviously the guy is great. Some people need to pump the breaks on the hype, however.

I agree. The range I have him in is WR9-15 for dynasty. As much as I love Patterson and Keenan I would trade both in a heartbeat for Watkins. There's a solid top 8 but after that he has to be in the conversation.

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All this is not to hate on Watkins, obviously the guy is great. Some people need to pump the breaks on the hype, however.

Good post. It seems like I've been bashing him, but the hype is way ahead of who he's projected to be in the league. It's definitely inflating his value. He has the Tavon Austin hype while being a better WR prospect. He'll be a good pick for whoever takes him, because he can ball. Just from a supply and demand standpoint, it shouldn't be difficult to find a 6" WR who runs 4.4+ with no vert. That's been my point all along.

Edited by ShaHBucks
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All this is not to hate on Watkins, obviously the guy is great. Some people need to pump the breaks on the hype, however.

Good post. It seems like I've been bashing him, but the hype is way ahead of who he's projected to be in the league. It's definitely inflating his value. He has the Tavon Austin hype while being a better WR prospect. He'll be a good pick for whoever takes him, because he can ball. Just from a supply and demand standpoint, it shouldn't be difficult to find a 6" WR who runs 4.4+ with no vert. That's been my point all along.

If scouts see it the same as you, he won't be a top 5-10 pick in the actual draft. Yet everything points to exactly that happening, so there seems to be a disconnect. Julio is 2" taller and 10 lbs. heavier, but he had some questions about concentration drops in college (and it still happened early in ATL, I think). He is a freakier athlete, but Watkins may be a more natural receiver.

Among recent other top 5-10 pedigree WRs, Watkins is faster and more explosive than Crabtree and Blackmon. He is within 5 lbs. of Crabtree, virtually the same size as Blackmon and plays with a similar edge and physicality to Crabtree. For non-top 10 pedigree WRs, he is also virtually the same size as Nicks as noted upthread, and his physicality is also reminiscent of Bryant.

Just two years ago Nicks was a top 10 dynasty WR. Crabtree looked like a borderline Pro Bowler and an ascendant player once Kaepernick replaced Smith.

IF Watkins is a better Crabtree and Nicks at their best, some here may be underestimating him.

He was basically pro ready as a freshman with one of the best first seasons for a WR in collegiate history, and after a down soph season, confirmed his status as the top WR in his class this season.

Not bashing the brake pumpers, but reducing Watkins to 6'0" and 4.4 is not in depth analysis. It would be equivalent to an art history entry on the Mona Lisa saying nothing more than - woman with enigmatic smile. :)

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All this is not to hate on Watkins, obviously the guy is great. Some people need to pump the breaks on the hype, however.

Good post. It seems like I've been bashing him, but the hype is way ahead of who he's projected to be in the league. It's definitely inflating his value. He has the Tavon Austin hype while being a better WR prospect. He'll be a good pick for whoever takes him, because he can ball. Just from a supply and demand standpoint, it shouldn't be difficult to find a 6" WR who runs 4.4+ with no vert. That's been my point all along.
If scouts see it the same is you, he won't be a top 5-10 pick in the actual draft. Yet everything points to exactly that happening, so there seems to be a disconnect. Julio is 2" taller and 10 lbs. heavier, but he had some questions about concentration drops in college (and it still happened early in ATL, I think). He is a freakier athlete, but Watkins may be a more natural receiver.

Among recent other top 5-10 pedigree WRs, Watkins is faster and more explosive than Crabtree and Blackmon. He is within 5 lbs. of Crabtree, virtually the same size as Blackmon and plays with a similar edge and physicality to Crabtree. For non-top 10 pedigree WRs, he is also virtually the same size as Nicks as noted upthread, and his physicality is also reminiscent of Bryant.

Just two years ago Nicks was a top 10 dynasty WR. Crabtree looked like a borderline Pro Bowler and an ascendant player once Kaepernick replaced Smith.

IF Watkins is a better Crabtree and Nicks at their best, some here may be underestimating him.

He was basically pro ready as a freshman with one of the best first seasons for a WR in collegiate history, and after a down soph season, confirmed his status as the top WR in his class this season.

Not bashing the brake pumpers, but reducing Watkins to 6'0" and 4.4 is not in depth analysis. It would be equivalent to an art history entry on the Mona Lisa saying nothing more than - woman with enigmatic smile. :)

You mean when he was busy buying or selling weed and Adderall?

Jk.. I don't believe I'm undervaluing Watkins. He will be good, possibly great. I just think he's destine to be a #2 WR in the NFL, along with a boatload of recievers in this class if they land in the right spot. Like Torrey Smith, I wouldn't want to see him being misused and pressed into WR1 duties if I owned him on my FF team. I'd rather he draw 2nd-3rd CBs and abuse them like Cruz did when Nicks was healthy.

You are right. If Tavon Austin went top 10, then Watkins tape and notoriety should land him near the same draft spot. He's much better than Austin and whoever takes him deserve credit for landing a good player. I'll just think they are insane for passing up potential franchise players like Clowney, Aaron Donald or one of the top OT ect... for a 6'0" 4.4+ WR with no vert lol. There is a oversupply of good small-WRs in this class to pass on Watkins' at his price tag if you feel the need to draft one. I would go on and name a few of the reciever I have in mind, but I don't feel like everyone throwing eggs at me for disagreeing with the masses.

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I would say physically Watkins DEFINITELY has some question marks considering people are already calling him a top end WR talent for the NFL and fantasy, damn near putting him in the top tier.

Could he be? Yep. Could he be a total bust?? Yep. Is he somewhere in between? Probably.

I would say my views of his size/speed/talent/ability compared to his value, he is pretty overvalued.

I do NOT view him as a "sure thing".

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All this is not to hate on Watkins, obviously the guy is great. Some people need to pump the breaks on the hype, however.

Good post. It seems like I've been bashing him, but the hype is way ahead of who he's projected to be in the league. It's definitely inflating his value. He has the Tavon Austin hype while being a better WR prospect. He'll be a good pick for whoever takes him, because he can ball. Just from a supply and demand standpoint, it shouldn't be difficult to find a 6" WR who runs 4.4+ with no vert. That's been my point all along.
If scouts see it the same is you, he won't be a top 5-10 pick in the actual draft. Yet everything points to exactly that happening, so there seems to be a disconnect. Julio is 2" taller and 10 lbs. heavier, but he had some questions about concentration drops in college (and it still happened early in ATL, I think). He is a freakier athlete, but Watkins may be a more natural receiver.

Among recent other top 5-10 pedigree WRs, Watkins is faster and more explosive than Crabtree and Blackmon. He is within 5 lbs. of Crabtree, virtually the same size as Blackmon and plays with a similar edge and physicality to Crabtree. For non-top 10 pedigree WRs, he is also virtually the same size as Nicks as noted upthread, and his physicality is also reminiscent of Bryant.

Just two years ago Nicks was a top 10 dynasty WR. Crabtree looked like a borderline Pro Bowler and an ascendant player once Kaepernick replaced Smith.

IF Watkins is a better Crabtree and Nicks at their best, some here may be underestimating him.

He was basically pro ready as a freshman with one of the best first seasons for a WR in collegiate history, and after a down soph season, confirmed his status as the top WR in his class this season.

Not bashing the brake pumpers, but reducing Watkins to 6'0" and 4.4 is not in depth analysis. It would be equivalent to an art history entry on the Mona Lisa saying nothing more than - woman with enigmatic smile. :)

You mean when he was busy buying or selling weed and Adderall?

Jk.. I don't believe I'm undervaluing Watkins. He will be good, possibly great. I just think he's destine to be a #2 WR in the NFL, along with a boatload of recievers in this class if they land in the right spot. Like Torrey Smith, I wouldn't want to see him being misused and pressed into WR1 duties if I owned him on my FF team. I'd rather he draw 2nd-3rd CBs and abuse them like Cruz did when Nicks was healthy.

You are right. If Tavon Austin went top 10, then Watkins tape and notoriety should land him near the same draft spot. He's much better than Austin and whoever takes him deserve credit for landing a good player. I'll just think they are insane for passing up potential franchise players like Clowney, Aaron Donald or one of the top OT ect... for a 6'0" 4.4+ WR with no vert lol. There is a oversupply of good small-WRs in this class to pass on Watkins' at his price tag if you feel the need to draft one. I would go on and name a few of the reciever I have in mind, but I don't feel like everyone throwing eggs at me for disagreeing with the masses.

Were Crabtree, Nicks, Roddy White and Reggie Wayne destined to be WR2s? They are "small" by your definition. If not, what separated them AT A COMPARABLE STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT?

Again, maybe the scouts look deeper than just grading all the WR prospects, or any position for that matter, strictly by height and weight. It would make scouting a lot easier, but than anybody capable of counting could do it. Stephen Hill is tall, can run like a deer and jump out of the stadium. But he can't catch and he can't play, so all his physical tools and athletic gifts come to nothing. There are big WRs that are good, bad and average, same with average size WRs and small WRs (Steve Smith, Percy Harvin, Randall Cobb, etc. being good examples in the latter category). There aren't dozens of WRs like Calvin Johnson, AJ Green, Julio Jones, Demaryius Thomas, Dez Bryant, Josh Gordon, Andre Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald. One option is to wait for years for the right opportunity to land one like them. Some teams may opt to not wait for years. If those teams agreed with you that later WRs were just as good, just because they are comparable height and weight, I'm sure they would do that. If they don't agree with that rationale, it is presumably because they see something in his skill set that separates him from WRs available later.

Watkins plays the ball in the air better and is much stronger after the catch, so those lacking attributes in Torrey Smith that cause him to be a sub-optimal WR1 aren't applicable to Watkins. All the above WRs drew top CBs at some point and did fine, not obvious why it would be different for him? You are comparing him to WRs he isn't like and leaving out WRs that he is like.

I agree Clowney, Donald (I am probably in the minority in thinking he belongs in the top 10 conversation) and the OTs are great prospects, I just think Watkins is, too. Watkins won't necessarily go before Clowney and both of the top LTs. If he does, maybe that team will grade Watkins comparably to some of the others on your list, and are in need of a WR more. If they have comparable grades, it wouldn't be a positonal reach. If he went to CLE, a possible destination as high as 1.4, he wouldn't have to be the WR1 opposite Gordon.

Compared to what we are hearing from scouts, Watkins is a legit top 5-10 candidate. Maybe you are right, but it is definitely a contrarian, outlier position. In recent years, Crabtree, Blackmon and Austin were picked in the top 10, all similar size or smaller than Watkins. If JAX had not taken Blackmon, STL would have (Fisher slammed his glasses down with the pick). If STL hadn't traded up for Austin, NYJ reportedly interested in taking him. Clearly, there are multiple teams in the NFL that don't think being 6'0"+ and 210 lbs. is a death blow to the chances of being a top 10 pick and a future WR1.

If Watkins is *SMALL*, what is average? 6'5" 230-240 lbs? Calvin Johnson, Kelvin Benjamin and Mike Evans? :)

* I think we might be mixing up and jumbling together different subjects and conversations. Compared to the elite WRs, some might call Watkins "small" compared to Calvin Johnson. But you seemed to be referring to all WRs in the draft. By that measure and standard, calling him small seems an exaggeration. Do you really think 6'2"-6'3"+ and 215-220 lbs is the "average" size of an NFL WR?

Not throwing eggs, any more than I think you are. If you disagree with what I'm saying, you don't pretend to agree just to go along. I'm no different. By putting different takes out there, others can decide if one makes more sense, or some kind of blend and middle ground best explains the evidence. I appreciate your role in the process everybody might benefit from in sharpening our collective thinking about these matters.

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I would say physically Watkins DEFINITELY has some question marks considering people are already calling him a top end WR talent for the NFL and fantasy, damn near putting him in the top tier.

Could he be? Yep. Could he be a total bust?? Yep. Is he somewhere in between? Probably.

I would say my views of his size/speed/talent/ability compared to his value, he is pretty overvalued.

I do NOT view him as a "sure thing".

There is no such thing as a sure thing. That said, when it comes to Watkins, even if he is overvalued, I need to see the cards... Edited by Gandalf

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6'0" 4.4+ WR with no vert lol.

6-1 and shorter WR's in the top 15 all-time in receiving yards:

Isaac Bruce

Tim Brown

Marvin Harrison

Henry Ellard

Reggie Wayne

Torrey Holt

Steve Largent

Irving Fryar

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In terms of physical size? Andre Johnson? No.

He's nearly identical in terms of size to former WR Tim Brown.

- Sammy Watkins 6'1 and 205 lbs

- Tim Brown 6'0 and 195 lbs

The catch is that Tim Brown is a HOFer and went to 9 Pro Bowls.

Ofcourse Browns started out slowly. His first five seasons in the league he never caught more than 49 passes and didn't eclipse 725 receiving yards in any of those seasons before he blew up.

It took Brown time and it typically takes rookie WRs some time to find their sea legs so I feel that Watkins best landing spot would be to go to a team with a solid #1 WR who would take the coverage off of him, someplace like Cleveland who has Josh Gordon so Watkins could start his career doing the things he did successfully in college like running underneath screens as a guy like Josh Gordon clears-out coverage or draws it to his side of the field.

Watkins looks special but he's no Dre Johnson but neither was Timmy Brown and he did pretty good so its not a prerequisite to have Andre Johnson size/speed/explosion.

If Watkins lands in a good spot he could be amazing.

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6'0" 4.4+ WR with no vert lol.

6-1 and shorter WR's in the top 15 all-time in receiving yards:

Isaac Bruce

Tim Brown

Marvin Harrison

Henry Ellard

Reggie Wayne

Torrey Holt

Steve Largent

Irving Fryar

That's about right. You need to take Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne off the list. No way they are on that list with out playing with Manning. Now how many TD's did these guys average per year? Minus Wayne and Harrison of course.

Basically 2/3rds of the WR on the top 15 all-time receiving list are over 6-1. Then when you factor in TD's you see why rating WR under 6'1 as elite prospects is a bad idea. It's particularly bad and getting worse when you start factoring in the average size of todays CB's.

I think you can take them off your draft board and be pretty successful. I'm not saying you won't miss out on the occasional Torry Holt but as the NFL evolves WR that are under 6'1 are going to have an even harder time succeeding.

Edited by Milkman

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6'0" 4.4+ WR with no vert lol.

6-1 and shorter WR's in the top 15 all-time in receiving yards:

Isaac Bruce

Tim Brown

Marvin Harrison

Henry Ellard

Reggie Wayne

Torrey Holt

Steve Largent

Irving Fryar

That's about right. You need to take Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne off the list. No way they are on that list with out playing with Manning. Now how many TD's did these guys average per year? Minus Wayne and Harrison of course.

Basically 2/3rds of the WR on the top 15 all-time receiving list are over 6-1. Then when you factor in TD's you see why rating WR under 6'1 as elite prospects is a bad idea.

You shouldn't take people off the list without adding to the list all the WRs under 6-1 who had terrible QB situations. No need to cherry pick. The list is the list.

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6'0" 4.4+ WR with no vert lol.

6-1 and shorter WR's in the top 15 all-time in receiving yards:

Isaac Bruce

Tim Brown

Marvin Harrison

Henry Ellard

Reggie Wayne

Torrey Holt

Steve Largent

Irving Fryar

That's about right. You need to take Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne off the list. No way they are on that list with out playing with Manning. Now how many TD's did these guys average per year? Minus Wayne and Harrison of course.

Basically 2/3rds of the WR on the top 15 all-time receiving list are over 6-1. Then when you factor in TD's you see why rating WR under 6'1 as elite prospects is a bad idea.

You shouldn't take people off the list without adding to the list all the WRs under 6-1 who had terrible QB situations. No need to cherry pick. The list is the list.

lol yeah Harrison would have caught 128 TD without manning no problem. Thumbs up. Same with Wayne.

If you want to draft 6'0 WR. Go for it. It's significantly less likely they'll be elite. Doesn't mean it can't happen but people need to factor that in when they are valuing a small WR like Watkins.

Edited by Milkman

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6'0" 4.4+ WR with no vert lol.

6-1 and shorter WR's in the top 15 all-time in receiving yards:

Isaac Bruce

Tim Brown

Marvin Harrison

Henry Ellard

Reggie Wayne

Torrey Holt

Steve Largent

Irving Fryar

That's about right. You need to take Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne off the list. No way they are on that list with out playing with Manning. Now how many TD's did these guys average per year? Minus Wayne and Harrison of course.

Basically 2/3rds of the WR on the top 15 all-time receiving list are over 6-1. Then when you factor in TD's you see why rating WR under 6'1 as elite prospects is a bad idea.

You shouldn't take people off the list without adding to the list all the WRs under 6-1 who had terrible QB situations. No need to cherry pick. The list is the list.

lol yeah Harrison would have caught 128 TD without manning no problem. Thumbs up. Same with Wayne.

If you want to draft 6'0 WR. Go for it. It's significantly less likely they will be elite.

Do you realize what my point actually was? I don't care if Harrison would have caught 10 career TDs. The point was that you distort the data if you take out only the players that help your point without adding in players who detract from it.

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6'0" 4.4+ WR with no vert lol.

6-1 and shorter WR's in the top 15 all-time in receiving yards:

Isaac Bruce

Tim Brown

Marvin Harrison

Henry Ellard

Reggie Wayne

Torrey Holt

Steve Largent

Irving Fryar

That's about right. You need to take Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne off the list. No way they are on that list with out playing with Manning. Now how many TD's did these guys average per year? Minus Wayne and Harrison of course.

Basically 2/3rds of the WR on the top 15 all-time receiving list are over 6-1. Then when you factor in TD's you see why rating WR under 6'1 as elite prospects is a bad idea.

You shouldn't take people off the list without adding to the list all the WRs under 6-1 who had terrible QB situations. No need to cherry pick. The list is the list.

lol yeah Harrison would have caught 128 TD without manning no problem. Thumbs up. Same with Wayne.

If you want to draft 6'0 WR. Go for it. It's significantly less likely they'll be elite. Doesn't mean it can't happen but people need to factor that in when they are valuing a small WR like Watkins.

We have different viewpoints. Why do you care THIS much that he isn't elite? Did you trade him away or something? Or maybe you just don't like anyone smaller than 6'2"? Did you hate Percy Harvin and Steve Smith too? What about Wes Welker?

Watkins is practically 6'1" btw. We are talking 1/8 of an inch I believe.

Edited by Gandalf

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Lets take Henry Ellard for example. He is an elite small WR. You can only hope Watkins has a career like Ellards right? He is 10th on the all time receiving yards list. He average a little over 4 rec TD's a year.

Now lets take the big WR who is number 9 on the all time list right above Ellard. 6'3 Cris Carter. He played one more season then Ellard but he had 65 more TD's. That's not a typo he average twice as many Rec TDs as Ellard.

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