The day is May 8th, 2014. The Buffalo Bills trade up to the fourth overall pick from the Cleveland Browns. Who are they moving up for? Clemson standout WR Sammy Watkins would be their pick. Watkins had 1,464 yards & 12 TDs in his last year of college, along with an All-American & All-ACC award in 2013. Watkins was the first Bills receiver selected in the first round since Lee Evans since 2004.
Bills trade: 2014 first round pick (9th overall, traded to Vikings: LB Anthony Barr), 2015 first & 4th round selections (OL Cameron Erving & DB Ibraheim Campbell).
Browns trade: 2014 first round pick (4th overall: Sammy Watkins).
How did he do?
Sammy had an up and down three seasons in Buffalo. His first year looked promising, catching 65 receptions for 982 yards & 6 TDs with second-year QB EJ Manuel. His second year was even better, with 60 receptions for 1,047 yards & 9 TDs. He went into his third season with a lot of promise, looking like the WR1 of the future. However, Watkins would break a small bone in his foot & land on IR from September 30th to November 26th. In the eight games he played, he totaled 430 yards & 2 TDs. On August 11th, 2017, Watkins would be traded to the LA Rams in exchange for CB EJ Gaines & a second round pick, officially wiping the Bills’ hands clean of the Watkins experiment.
After the Rams, Watkins would go on to play for two other teams, the Kansas City Chiefs & the Baltimore Ravens. Watkins would sign a three year/$48M deal with the Chiefs & win a Super Bowl there in 2019. After the 2020 season, Watkins would sign a one year/$6M deal with the Ravens, where he would total 394 yards & 1 TD in 13 games.
Did they go wrong?
So, did the Bills go wrong with the pick? Let’s take a look at some of the players taken after him.
- LB Khalil Mack
- DT Aaron Donald
- LB Anthony Barr
- WR Mike Evans
- WR Odell Beckham Jr
- OL Taylor Lewan