Whether or not the Rams elect to draft a receiver in May, they certainly won’t be faced with a shortage of talented options while on the clock. Rams General Manager Les Snead and Head Coach Jeff Fisher both referenced the considerable depth of this year’s receiver class, which is one of many positions long on talent.
“I think that group as a whole, it’s deep,” Snead said. “The 15th receiver could be a starter in this league. With that group, you get a lot of different flavors. You get the large people, you get the smaller, faster guys. They’re competitive, they put their places on their back. Sometimes, I think at the Combine it’s a little bit harder as quarterback, to go throw to strangers, but if you’re ever going to pick a year to throw, this is it.”
The class is headed by Clemson’s Sammy Watkins, who, despite measuring in at a shade below 6’1” at the Combine, has gained acclaim for playing taller than his height would suggest.
“I try to be physical down the field at all times,” Watkins said in a brief media session Saturday. “Everyone knows all receivers can catch balls and score, but for me, it’s about focusing on the little things—blocking, getting off the press, being physical downfield.”
Joining Watkins in headlining this draft’s receiver class are taller options like Texas A&M’s Mike Evans and Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin, among others. Watkins emphasized his speed as a factor in separating himself from the remainder of this draft’s talented wideouts.
“I think I can run by just about anybody,” Watkins said.
One additional key aspect of Watkins’ game is his ability to also be a factor out of the backfield and in the return game, not unlike the Rams’
In addition to his 101 receptions for 1,464 yards and 12 touchdowns for Clemson as a senior, Watkins averaged 6.5 yards on 52 carries over the course of his collegiate career. Watkins looks forward to bringing that versatile attack to the professional ranks this fall.
“I think I can do just about anything on the field, from wide receiver to running back,” Watkins said. “What I love doing is dominating defenses and that’s what I bring to the game, and that’s going to turn over to the NFL. When I get to the NFL, I think I can be that dominant receiver.”