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How Will Sammy Watkins Do in Year One?

Offensive rookies in the NFL don’t usually make an immediate impact. This is especially true with the wide receiver position as it takes time to develop chemistry with a QB and learn the nuances of the playbook or routes in general. On the other hand, there are guys who have amazing rookie seasons and make team executives look like geniuses for drafting them.

(Photo Credit: Bill Wippert/AP)

Could Sammy Watkins go over 1,000 yards receiving as a rookie? (Photo Credit: Bill Wippert/AP)

So as excited as I am to have Sammy Watkins in a Bills jersey, I think it’s time I try to figure out which group he’ll fall into by taking a look at the rookie seasons of some comparable wide receivers in their respective rookie seasons. I tried to use guys who Watkins drew comparisons to, were picked in the first round, had high production coming out of college or were on teams with inexperienced (2 years or fewer) starting QBs.

Name G Rec Yds Avg Yds/G Lng TD 20+ 40+ 1st
Calvin Johnson 15 48 756 15.8 50.4 49 4 12 1 38
Percy Harvin 15 60 790 13.2 52.7 51 6 12 3 42
Dez Bryant 12 45 561 12.5 46.8 46 6 8 3 27
A.J. Green 15 65 1,057 16.3 70.5 58 7 19 7 43
Julio Jones 13 54 959 17.8 73.8 80 8 16 7 34
Torrey Smith 16 50 841 16.8 52.6 74 7 14 4 34
Justin Blackmon 16 64 865 13.5 54.1 81 5 9 2 41
Michael Floyd 16 45 562 12.5 35.1 53 2 6 1 26
Kendall Wright 15 64 626 9.8 41.7 38 4 6 0 38
Tavon Austin 13 40 418 10.5 32.2 81 4 5 2 17
Keenan Allen 15 71 1,046 14.7 69.7 43 8 16 1 54
DeAndre Hopkins 16 52 802 15.4 50.1 66 2 12 2 38
Cordarrelle Patterson 16 45 469 10.4 29.3 79 4 7 1 19
Robert Woods 14 40 587 14.7 41.9 57 3 9 2 26
Average 15 49 739 15.1 49.2 61 5 11 3 34

Based on the stats above you have a better idea of realistic expectations for Watkins and can see why the Bills took Watkins so high. If Watkins posts the average numbers from the various players I selected, the Bills will get more production than they did from Stevie Johnson in 3 of his 6 years in Buffalo. That’s if Watkins is just average…

In my opinion, based off his extraordinary college production, speed, ball skills and route running he’ll post numbers a lot better than that. I expect Watkins’ stat line to look something like this after his first season in the NFL.

Name G Rec Yds Avg Yds/G Lng TD 20+ 40+ 1st
Sammy Watkins 16 65 1,000 15.4 62.5 74 8 15 5 40

While I’m confident Watkins is capable of even better numbers, he’ll be competing for receptions with Robert Woods as well as Mike Williams. The team also isn’t likely to rely on the pass as this is in an offense that features C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson and Bryce Brown as a dynamic rushing attack. So let me know what you think Bills Mafia, how will Sammy Watkins do in year one?


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About John Samuelson

+John Samuelson is not your typical Bills fan, raised in Generation Drought, he brings a realistically optimistic viewpoint to the #BillsMafia. Enjoy the "Samuelson Slant" - his personal spin on all things Buffalo Bills.