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Thread: Why Sammy Watkins needs to be a Ram.

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    Why Sammy Watkins needs to be a Ram.

    By Nick Wagoner | ESPN.com

    INDIANAPOLIS -- In 2012, the
    St. Louis Rams finally found themselves in position to draft the best wide receiver in his draft class.

    They had the No. 2 pick in that draft and a clear shot at Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon before making a blockbuster trade with Washington. The move loaded them with picks but also cost them a shot at Blackmon.

    It was a move the Rams could make because Blackmon wasn’t believed to be in the class ofCalvin Johnson, A.J. Green or Julio Jones. He was best in class but not necessarily considered a surefire No. 1 receiver type.

    Two years later, it appears that trade has put the Rams in position to land a receiver who is far closer to the Green/Jones class than any receiver who has come out in the past three years.

    His name is Sammy Watkins and he spent the past three years dominating the ACC as a member of the Clemson Tigers. In that time, he posted 240 catches for 3,391 yards and 27 touchdowns.

    And Watkins is a player who, assuming everything checks out in terms of interviews, health and off-the-field issues, should be at the top of the Rams’ wish list in May.

    In talking to a handful of scouts this week at the scouting combine, I heard almost nothing negative about Watkins. Here’s a small sample:

    “He’s the real deal, explosive, physical, strong, gets off the line of scrimmage, makes you miss. … He’s not a big 6-5 type of guy but he plays plenty big and he gets separation easily. … He should be a dominant player in the league and has the makeup to be a No. 1 guy. … The thing I love most about him is how competitive he is, he has a lot of dog in him and it shows up on almost every snap.”

    Watkins showed no hesitation in declaring his desire to match those rave reviews and furthered his cause with an impressive 4.43-second 40-yard dash Sunday afternoon.

    “What I love doing is dominating defenses,” Watkins said. “I think that’s what I bring to the game and I think that’s going to turn over to the NFL. When I come into the NFL, I think I can be that dominant receiver.”

    Bingo. This isn’t about the Rams needing to draft a receiver. This is about the Rams needing to draft THE receiver.

    They’ve taken a receiver in each of the past nine years. They’ve selected wideouts in every round, alternately hoping for a diamond in the rough to pay off and betting on a highly touted prospect to pan out.

    For those who have followed the team in the five years since Torry Holt’s time in St. Louis came to an end, the lack of a top threat has been glaring.

    Since Holt and Isaac Bruce have departed, the Rams haven’t had one. They haven’t even had one who's come close. No Rams wideout has reached even 700 receiving yards since Holt in 2008, nevermind 1,000 yards, which Holt hit in 2007.

    Along the way, the Rams have been unable to find a top receiver for many reasons, not least of which includes some poor player evaluations, a lack of emphasis on the position and a little bit of bad luck.

    For most of the past decade, the Rams have been one of the worst teams in the league. They’ve logged a 15-loss season, two 14-loss seasons and a 13-loss season, not to mention a 10-loss year in 2005.

    Despite the lofty draft picks that go with those seasons, the Rams have never had the good fortune of having a high pick that corresponds to a season in which something as close to a can’t-miss receiver prospect has been in the draft.

    In the 2007 draft, Georgia Tech’s Calvin Johnson was clearly one of the two best players. Had the Rams had one of those awful seasons before then, perhaps they could have taken the man now regarded as the best wideout in the league. Instead, they managed to finish 8-8, the only .500 record they’ve had since 2004.

    Entering the 2010 season, the Rams were in the midst of one of the worst losing runs in league history. They’d posted a total of three wins in the 2008 and 2009 seasons but managed to take advantage of one of the league’s worst schedules in 2010 and nearly won the NFC West division before losing to Seattle on the season’s final day.

    Instead of having a top-six pick in the 2011 draft with a shot at highly touted wideouts Green and Jones, the Rams picked 14th. They did just fine landing end Robert Quinn but settled forAustin Pettis and Greg Salas in Rounds 3 and 4 at receiver.

    Sitting with the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft, it appears the Rams are almost certain to have a shot at Watkins. The question is whether they’re willing to again spend a top-10 pick on the position, especially when they’ve consistently preached the need for patience with their young receiving corps.

    While patience is a reasonable request given how young that group is, there’s nothing that says adding more competition and a potential true No. 1 wideout to the mix would do anything but help the cause.

    General manager Les Snead, who in January said the Rams don’t “need” a No. 1 type of receiver, offered a little more flexibility when asked about it again on Friday.

    “I'll say this, any time in the draft, if you could add a really special player, that helps your team,” Snead said. “I think the biggest thing we need from the wide receiver group is experience, letting those guys get older but hey it’s a deep wide receiver class. It seems like every time you get a pick, there may be a good wide receiver on the board.”

    Players like Texas A&M’s
    Mike Evans, LSU’s Odell Beckham, Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks and USC’s Marqise Lee are also considered potential first-round picks. Some might even turn out to be as good or better than Watkins.

    But if Watkins is indeed the clear-cut best receiver in a strong class, why risk it? Considering how hard the organization has made it look replacing Holt and Bruce, wouldn’t simply drafting Watkins narrow the margin for error in evaluation or player development?

    Maybe the Rams would love to trade down and still snag Watkins with a couple more picks in their pocket. But again, if he really is that type of player, why not just make sure he’s a Ram?

    “I don’t think you can ever say no because if that player can help you then pick him,” Snead said. “And competition is not a bad thing either and having as many weapons as possible is not a bad thing either.”

    Especially if that weapon is the one that’s been missing from your arsenal the longest.
    Last edited by ManofGod; -02-23-2014 at 10:45 PM.


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    Re: Why Sammy Watkins needs to be a Ram.

    If Clowney goes number one, and we can't trade down, I'll have no problem with Watkins even at the expense of one of the top OTs. I believe he's just as plug and play as the highly touted Jake Mathews is, but far more dynamic.

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    Re: Why Sammy Watkins needs to be a Ram.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
    If Clowney goes number one, and we can't trade down, I'll have no problem with Watkins even at the expense of one of the top OTs. I believe he's just as plug and play as the highly touted Jake Mathews is, but far more dynamic.
    Initially I was all for drafting Matthews at #2 and then Evans or Dennard at #13, but after seeing how well Lewan did this weekend, I'm warming up the idea of taking him at #13 (I believe he could be there), and Watkins at #2. We have to find someone, anyone that can both create separation & catch the ball constantly.

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    Re: Why Sammy Watkins needs to be a Ram.

    Quote Originally Posted by ManofGod View Post
    By Nick Wagoner | ESPN.com

    INDIANAPOLIS -- In 2012, the
    St. Louis Rams finally found themselves in position to draft the best wide receiver in his draft class.

    They had the No. 2 pick in that draft and a clear shot at Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon before making a blockbuster trade with Washington. The move loaded them with picks but also cost them a shot at Blackmon.

    It was a move the Rams could make because Blackmon wasn’t believed to be in the class ofCalvin Johnson, A.J. Green or Julio Jones. He was best in class but not necessarily considered a surefire No. 1 receiver type.

    Two years later, it appears that trade has put the Rams in position to land a receiver who is far closer to the Green/Jones class than any receiver who has come out in the past three years.

    His name is Sammy Watkins and he spent the past three years dominating the ACC as a member of the Clemson Tigers. In that time, he posted 240 catches for 3,391 yards and 27 touchdowns.

    And Watkins is a player who, assuming everything checks out in terms of interviews, health and off-the-field issues, should be at the top of the Rams’ wish list in May.

    In talking to a handful of scouts this week at the scouting combine, I heard almost nothing negative about Watkins. Here’s a small sample:

    “He’s the real deal, explosive, physical, strong, gets off the line of scrimmage, makes you miss. … He’s not a big 6-5 type of guy but he plays plenty big and he gets separation easily. … He should be a dominant player in the league and has the makeup to be a No. 1 guy. … The thing I love most about him is how competitive he is, he has a lot of dog in him and it shows up on almost every snap.”

    Watkins showed no hesitation in declaring his desire to match those rave reviews and furthered his cause with an impressive 4.43-second 40-yard dash Sunday afternoon
    .


    “What I love doing is dominating defenses,” Watkins said. “I think that’s what I bring to the game and I think that’s going to turn over to the NFL. When I come into the NFL, I think I can be that dominant receiver.”

    Bingo. This isn’t about the Rams needing to draft a receiver. This is about the Rams needing to draft THE receiver.

    They’ve taken a receiver in each of the past nine years. They’ve selected wideouts in every round, alternately hoping for a diamond in the rough to pay off and betting on a highly touted prospect to pan out.

    For those who have followed the team in the five years since Torry Holt’s time in St. Louis came to an end, the lack of a top threat has been glaring.

    Since Holt and Isaac Bruce have departed, the Rams haven’t had one. They haven’t even had one who's come close. No Rams wideout has reached even 700 receiving yards since Holt in 2008, nevermind 1,000 yards, which Holt hit in 2007.

    Along the way, the Rams have been unable to find a top receiver for many reasons, not least of which includes some poor player evaluations, a lack of emphasis on the position and a little bit of bad luck.

    For most of the past decade, the Rams have been one of the worst teams in the league. They’ve logged a 15-loss season, two 14-loss seasons and a 13-loss season, not to mention a 10-loss year in 2005.

    Despite the lofty draft picks that go with those seasons, the Rams have never had the good fortune of having a high pick that corresponds to a season in which something as close to a can’t-miss receiver prospect has been in the draft.

    In the 2007 draft, Georgia Tech’s Calvin Johnson was clearly one of the two best players. Had the Rams had one of those awful seasons before then, perhaps they could have taken the man now regarded as the best wideout in the league. Instead, they managed to finish 8-8, the only .500 record they’ve had since 2004.

    Entering the 2010 season, the Rams were in the midst of one of the worst losing runs in league history. They’d posted a total of three wins in the 2008 and 2009 seasons but managed to take advantage of one of the league’s worst schedules in 2010 and nearly won the NFC West division before losing to Seattle on the season’s final day.

    Instead of having a top-six pick in the 2011 draft with a shot at highly touted wideouts Green and Jones, the Rams picked 14th. They did just fine landing end Robert Quinn but settled forAustin Pettis and Greg Salas in Rounds 3 and 4 at receiver.

    Sitting with the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft, it appears the Rams are almost certain to have a shot at Watkins. The question is whether they’re willing to again spend a top-10 pick on the position, especially when they’ve consistently preached the need for patience with their young receiving corps.

    While patience is a reasonable request given how young that group is, there’s nothing that says adding more competition and a potential true No. 1 wideout to the mix would do anything but help the cause.

    General manager Les Snead, who in January said the Rams don’t “need” a No. 1 type of receiver, offered a little more flexibility when asked about it again on Friday.

    “I'll say this, any time in the draft, if you could add a really special player, that helps your team,” Snead said. “I think the biggest thing we need from the wide receiver group is experience, letting those guys get older but hey it’s a deep wide receiver class. It seems like every time you get a pick, there may be a good wide receiver on the board.”

    Players like Texas A&M’s
    Mike Evans, LSU’s Odell Beckham, Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks and USC’s Marqise Lee are also considered potential first-round picks. Some might even turn out to be as good or better than Watkins.

    But if Watkins is indeed the clear-cut best receiver in a strong class, why risk it? Considering how hard the organization has made it look replacing Holt and Bruce, wouldn’t simply drafting Watkins narrow the margin for error in evaluation or player development?

    Maybe the Rams would love to trade down and still snag Watkins with a couple more picks in their pocket. But again, if he really is that type of player, why not just make sure he’s a Ram?

    “I don’t think you can ever say no because if that player can help you then pick him,” Snead said. “And competition is not a bad thing either and having as many weapons as possible is not a bad thing either.”

    Especially if that weapon is the one that’s been missing from your arsenal the longest.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
    If Clowney goes number one, and we can't trade down, I'll have no problem with Watkins even at the expense of one of the top OTs. I believe he's just as plug and play as the highly touted Jake Mathews is, but far more dynamic.
    um dyslexia at its finest =P
    4.34
    seems small but in real life that 4.43 40 on a 6'1" WR vs 4.34 is millions of dollars=)

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    Re: Why Sammy Watkins needs to be a Ram.

    double lag induced post

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    Re: Why Sammy Watkins needs to be a Ram.

    Quote Originally Posted by punahou View Post
    um dyslexia at its finest =P
    4.34
    seems small but in real life that 4.43 40 on a 6'1" WR vs 4.34 is millions of dollars=)
    Which is interesting when you consider that a guy like A. Boldin who runs a 4.6 can become a #1 WR and dominate on the field at 6'0" or 6'1".
    Last edited by ManofGod; -02-23-2014 at 11:29 PM.

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    Re: Why Sammy Watkins needs to be a Ram.

    I enjoyed watching Sammy at Clemson this last season saw a couple games. Now having said that I have watched Evans the last couple seasons and just like him more to be honest. I like his attitude more also from all I see in how he goes about his business out there and also in interviews. If you start comparing him to Blackmon I get even more concerned, as he Blackmon has issues still trying to stay on the field and not getting suspended for drugs etc. Sammy may turn out just fine with all issues behind him and let the prima donna attitude go and be a great team mate... I just wanted to air out my concerns about him.

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    Re: Why Sammy Watkins needs to be a Ram.

    Quote Originally Posted by punahou View Post
    um dyslexia at its finest =P
    4.34
    seems small but in real life that 4.43 40 on a 6'1" WR vs 4.34 is millions of dollars=)
    His official time was 4.43. The 4.34 was unofficial.

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    Re: Why Sammy Watkins needs to be a Ram.

    I'd have no problems. If the Rams feel he's that special that they'd take him at #2, lets do it! Watkins is going to be a BEAST in the league. He is a terrific route runner, he is so frickin fast and explosive, has amazing hands... The guy is the TOTAL package. I also feel Mike Evans is the total package but Sammy is much more explosive, though Evans has the leap ball ability of a God.

    Either way, come away with one of these two, I'd be DAMN excited as we FINALLLLYYYY got a #1 WR.
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    Re: Why Sammy Watkins needs to be a Ram.

    I hate it when people write about the Rams as experts on what the Rams need without actually watching the Rams play. How can anyone say that Watkins is the key weapon we are missing when right now we have nothing that remotely resembles a functional offensive line. We have no guards, questions at center, one tackle that is probably ok, one tackle who is out with knee surgery, and a key free agent. We played most of the year with a backup qb.

    We now have a quality running back. We need an offensive line. Whether that is in the draft, through free agency, or otherwise, that needs to be addressed. If the Rams take watkins i will support it because i trust fisher and snead, but i will be shocked if we do so with the #2 pick. I dont see watkins as an aj green type of cant miss guy. Too many yards after the catch against terrible acc competition. Too many yards on wide receiver screens with blockers in front of him. I like watkins a lot, but i cant see him as being more valuable to the rams than matthews or robinson, i just cant see it.

    Ramming speed to all

    general counsel
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    Re: Why Sammy Watkins needs to be a Ram.

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel View Post
    I hate it when people write about the Rams as experts on what the Rams need without actually watching the Rams play. How can anyone say that Watkins is the key weapon we are missing when right now we have nothing that remotely resembles a functional offensive line. We have no guards, questions at center, one tackle that is probably ok, one tackle who is out with knee surgery, and a key free agent. We played most of the year with a backup qb.

    We now have a quality running back. We need an offensive line. Whether that is in the draft, through free agency, or otherwise, that needs to be addressed. If the Rams take watkins i will support it because i trust fisher and snead, but i will be shocked if we do so with the #2 pick. I dont see watkins as an aj green type of cant miss guy. Too many yards after the catch against terrible acc competition. Too many yards on wide receiver screens with blockers in front of him. I like watkins a lot, but i cant see him as being more valuable to the rams than matthews or robinson, i just cant see it.

    Ramming speed to all

    general counsel
    I don't disagree with you at all in terms of the urgency of bolstering the OL but, to play Devil's advocate, the Rams might conclude that they are better off taking a guy like Watkins at No. 2 (assuming no trade), and then take an OT at #13 (Lewan if he lasts, Martin as Plan B) and an OG on Day 2.

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    Re: Why Sammy Watkins needs to be a Ram.

    Which is why Av i would support the pick if fisher and snead really think he is a true #1 type guy. THey know a lot more than i do. Personally, i dont see it and i still think we are going to trade back on that pick. If no trade is available that is one type of discussion, but i personally would rather have the #7 or 8 (ie tampa or minnesota) plus a #2 and probably something from next year) than sammy watkins.

    ramming speed to all

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    Re: Why Sammy Watkins needs to be a Ram.

    This is the Greatest WR draft class as far as depth EVER!!!!

    You will see upwards to 7,or 8 drafted in top 35 picks.......Many of the top 7 WRs have a chance to be multi year pro-bowlers and I expect 5 of them to be stars in first 2 years.....

    Obviously, Watkins is cream of crop -- but next 2 tiers are pretty amazing....something that was missing in all those earlier drafts.....

    For Example, any other year Crooks could be a Top 10 pick comparing to Austin and Harvin with elite playmaking ability -- this year he is just one of the bunch after Watkins showing so much more to the talent

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    Re: Why Sammy Watkins needs to be a Ram.

    Watkins is a very good prospect. I don't think I'd put him on the Green/Jones level, but I'd rank him above Blackmon whom I really liked as a prospect. Having said that, I'd probably only draft Watkins if the Rams missed out on Matthews or Robinson after a trade down. I don't think I could justify taking him over either of the top two tackles, both of whom I hold higher opinions of.

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    Re: Why Sammy Watkins needs to be a Ram.

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    I don't disagree with you at all in terms of the urgency of bolstering the OL but, to play Devil's advocate, the Rams might conclude that they are better off taking a guy like Watkins at No. 2 (assuming no trade), and then take an OT at #13 (Lewan if he lasts, Martin as Plan B) and an OG on Day 2.
    A much better plan than either OT at 2, IMO. Provided of course, that they plan on being a much more diverse/dynamic offense.

    In other words, if they plan on being a decidedly run dominant offense, there's no point in drafting Sammy at 2.

    He, Austin, and Bailey would need to be more dominant than Zac Stacy, for the pick to make sense IMO.
    Last edited by Fortuninerhater; -02-25-2014 at 12:57 AM.

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