May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Sammy Watkins (Clemson) poses for a photo after being selected as the number four overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft to the Buffalo Bills at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Bills trade up to waste 4th pick

They call mock drafts “mock,” because that’s exactly what they are. If you’re like me, you probably read a plethora of them. How many mock drafts did you see Sammy Watkins going in the top 5?

Maybe I’m completely blind, but I can’t recall any that I read. Sammy may be a talented wide receiver, and hopefully he’ll be worth what the Bills gave up to get him. However, when you saw the Bills trade with Cleveland, did you really fathom that they’d draft anyone other than Khalil Mack? If they had just picked the talented linebacker from the University at Buffalo I probably wouldn’t have thrown a fit in the middle of a Mexican restaurant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Wide receivers are such a gamble in the first round, and trading up for one is completely asinine. Unless you have a Calvin Johnson like receiver available, you’re trading up for a dime a dozen talent.

Fact: Buffalo doesn’t have a first round draft pick next year. So, Watkins better be a pro bowl wide receiver in his first year, or the Bills were as foolish as they appeared. This is absolutely no knock against Sammy, but this almost rivals trading for a 2nd first round draft pick to draft J.P. Losman. No, I don’t think that Sammy will be the bust that Keanu Reeves identical twin brother was, but the fact they felt they had to trade up to draft Sammy will cause me some insomnia.

I’m hoping this move by the Bills pays off, but as they say at Mexican restaurants in Chattanooga, Tennessee: “No mi gusta.”



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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Buffalo Bills Sammy Watkins

  • Thomas Eric

    This is a great pick who are you kidding….Sammy now gives us a true #1 guy Stevie is over the hump… Now we have a number of threats 3 receiver set Williams Watkins Stevie…. Add woods in a 4 and Goodwin in a 5 that’s tough for any defense to cover

  • Brad

    I don’t disagree with the pick. I disagree with them trading up. I’m a firm believer they could have drafted him at 9th.

  • NWBill

    I thinnk you’re wrong, Brad ….this move shows the new plans of the Bills’ braintrust – and I TOTALLY agree with it. I would have preferred to keep next year’s first round pick – but I think Sammy Watkins can make us all forget NEEDING to draft someone in the first round next year! There are no “dime a dozen” WRs like Watkins – he, and Mike Evans, constitute the cream of the crop in a chock-full WR draft this year.

    This move does several positive things at once, and right NOW only ONE negative thing; it puts a rare, world-class WR talent on the field for EJ, it opens up the running game even more; defenses will have to open up space for this guy …freeing up running lines for CJ and Fred. It adds another explosive KR option to the special teams. It takes coverages away from Robert Woods and Marquise Grissom. Also ….and I can’t stress this enough ….it means Stevie Johnson won’t be a Bill when the season starts. He’ll be gone, either through a trade, or waiver – and his high contract money will go to Watkins after his rookie deal ends, while FREEING UP money for other players NOW. With a Sammy Watkins on your team, why would you need to keep a Stevie Johnson? Watkins does everything Stevie can do, along with KR – and he’s MUCH FASTER than Stevie – along with being younger. He also gets separation MUCH quicker than Stevie’s capable of, meaning that defenses will be trailing him, trying to catch up – which frees up space for the RBs and other WRs. I have NO doubt that Nathaniel Hackett is screaming and dancing around his office right now. I also have NO doubt that EJ is doing flips and cheering, too.

    Do you know what I’d do RIGHT NOW, if I were the Bills? I’d trade Stevie ASAP, RIGHT NOW, for either a 2nd round pick in this draft ….or a 1st rounder in next year’s. It’s probably much more likely that they can get a 2 for him this year – so, go for it, Buffalo! Take that pick and draft the best guard or tackle still available, and then fill in with the rest of the picks!

    Watkins, and that kind of a draft, just may put us back in the playoffs THIS year!

  • Brad

    We have more pressing needs than Wide Receiver. Outside linebacker and offensive line. Do you recall our first meeting with the Jets last fall? E.J. could barely stand up. I think Sammy is a terrific talent, but Woods has proven he can help stretch the field, along with the speed that Goodwin provide. I think it’s fair to say we can wish worthless draft pick T.J. Graham happy trails. Offensive line was this team’s number one need going into the draft. Not only did we not address with all the capable talent in the first round, we lost our first round pick for next year. I’m going to stand my ground and disagree THIS year!

  • Paul Henry

    You didn’t see Watkins going in the top five in ANY mock drafts? Guess you didn’t read that many. Offensive tackle group is very deep… EJ will be protected.

  • trinity

    This is a stupid article. Sammy Watkins is as close as a safe bet as you’re going to get in this draft. He is as phenomenonal playmaker, and the number 1 reciever in a class of many excellent recievers. To call him a “waste” is unfathomable and just plain stupid.

  • jay

    “Wide receivers are such a gamble in the first round, and trading up for one is completely asinine. Unless you have a Calvin Johnson like receiver available, you’re trading up for a dime a dozen talent.”

    Unlike linebacker where everyone is a lock, right? — In 5 seconds I could rattle off a Bible’s worth of draft busts at linebacker: Vernon Gholston, Aundray Bruce, Brian Bosworth, Teddy Lehman, our own Aaron “Mayhem” Maybin … on top of all the guys who may have been good & got hurt because that’s what happens to linebackers way more often than WR: Andy Katzenmoyer, David Pollack, Trev Alberts, LaVar Arrington, Chris Claiborne (remember how quickly the fortunes of Sam Cowart and John Holacek turned?)

    What is Rolando McClain doing right now for Oakland? For anyone in the NFL? :: Crickets ::
    Is Mack different from all those guys (and dozens more like them) because Mel Kiper or NFLdraftscout or OurLads all convinced each other that he is “versatile” and “a lock” ? A “generational player” who can’t miss because he was up for #1 ??

    In that case, surely you can remember Aaron Curry… “The biggest sure thing in the draft!”

    Considered for #1 before falling to #4:

    How lucky was Seattle to pass on Orakpo, Raji, Cushing, or Clay Matthews to give Curry most money ever guaranteed to a non-quarterback rookie in NFL history??

    Every position is a gamble. It’s the draft. What is the point of ranking the draft the same night it happened? You know literally nothing more about the players today.

  • LifetimeBillsFan

    There are nine players still on the board who can immediately fill needs and help the Bills improve considerably. Since you are so concerned about OT, here are three: Bittonio, Moses and Kouandijo. If you want to see the Bills add a DE, so that Lawson can go back to playing OLB, there’s Tuitt, Ealy and Crichton. And, if you’d rather that they add a TE, there is Amaro, Seferian-Jenkins and Niklas. Given the needs of the teams picking before the Bills in Round 2, at least a couple of these players will still be available when the Bills pick with the ninth pick in the second round–and the odds are, at least one of these will be an OT. Considering that at least two (Tuitt and Ealy) and perhaps three (Amaro) of these players were considered to be possible late first round picks this year and half of them would likely be first rounders in most drafts, the Bills are still well positioned to fill at least one of those needs you are so concerned about in Round 2.

    Additionally, something that you haven’t considered: almost 100 underclassmen entered this year’s draft, increasing the depth of quality in this draft significantly. In most seasons that number is in the 50-70 range. That means that next year’s draft will have almost 100 fewer upperclassmen in it and those upperclassmen are likely to be replaced by 50-70 underclassmen–which means that next year’s draft is likely to be weaker than this year’s draft just on the basis of numbers of quality players alone. And, on top of that, this year’s draft was considered to be a deep draft in terms of quality even before that. (Prior to this draft some draft analysts were saying that there were as many as 50 players in this year’s draft with first round grades–an extremely high number–meaning that players with first round grades could potentially be gotten even as high as the early third round depending on how the draft went.)

    The Bills got the best offensive playmaker in this draft without giving up their opportunities to improve the team in the deepest draft in years at their positions of greatest need in exchange for what should, at worst, be a mid-first round pick in a weakened draft next year and a fourth round pick in that draft as well. Adding premium quality playmakers at the top of any draft comes at a steep cost: your team has to be really bad for at least one season or you have to be willing to give up draft picks to get them. In a league where playmakers are increasingly difference-makers, you have to either be very bad, be willing to pay a price, or be very good and lucky to get the lowest risk potential playmakers. Since the Bills haven’t been really bad that often (only one pick in the top 5 in recent years) or very good (think the Maybin pick) or lucky (getting Dareus instead of Newton or V.Miller when they did pick # 3), making a move to add an explosive playmaker by giving up picks in a weakened draft makes sense–especially since they are well positioned to fill their most glaring need (OT) with a quality player in the next round. Would you have preferred that they stay put at # 9 and drafted an OT who may be facing serious criminal charges that could result in a suspension for threatening to rape a woman? Or, a TE who can’t block and isn’t nearly the receiver that Watkins is? Seriously????

  • Brad

    I guess you didn’t read the article. Watkins isn’t the “waste.” Trading up was the waste. Who are we going to take in the first round next year? Likely no one, because there’s no one on this team that is worth a first round draft pick.

  • Brad

    I probably jumped the gun on my frustration. You’re right. There are plenty of picks to go. I’m sure the frustration in this article stems from the Bill not picking Mack. I really thought he was a home run, and apparently the Raiders did too.

  • NWBill

    Even though the hometown factor would have been HUGE for Mack, I doubted very much whether the Bills would get him. I thought someone would grab him by the 5th pick; he’s just too much of a stud, and PERFECT for a 3-4 defense, for anyone to leave him hanging too long The one pick that REALLY surprised me was Bortles; I didn’t think he’d be the FIRST QB taken – and I certainly didn’t think anyone would draft him that high. Other than that (and, of course, Buffalo’s great move!), the first 10 picks went pretty much according to need and position.

    What did I tell you about Stevie, huh? The Bills did exactly what I figured they would ….and, to be honest, got rid of a little bit of a problem child in the locker room in the process. Stevie Johnson is GOOD, but in my opinion he’s never going to be GREAT – and Buffalo just drafted a GREAT WR. I hope he’s happy and successful in SF, I really do …but this hugely benefits Buffalo on several levels. And it looks like the Watkins pick is now just a straight single first rounder …especially if Stevie does well in SF.

    To me, the work done so far proves that we now have excellent talent management in the Bills’ organization, along with a very, very good coaching staff. The overall talent level has risen year by year, and this team is coming together quite nicely. Hopefully, by the time it’s sold and moves into a new stadium, we’ll be going deep into the playoffs!

  • NWBill

    There is NO way Sammy Watkins would have been there at 9 ….both he and Evans would have been gone by then. Watkins is the BEST skill position player in this draft – PERIOD. GMs would have had to been taking stupid pills to leave him on the board past #8 ….and Buffalo doesn’t have a stupid GM.

  • Brad

    You called it on Stevie, so I’m glad to see that Doug W. and company knew what they were doing. Let’s face it. Stevie’s really regressed and has become more injury prone. He was once a hidden gem, that became exposed. This trade definitely looks better with Stevie gone. I’m hoping for some magic in these next 6 rounds. This time I’ll let things play out a little bit before I go on my next angry tirade.

  • NWBill

    I wouldn’t think of Stevie as a “regression,” but more of an “overrated” player. He spends way too much time juking to get open, doesn’t get enough separation coming off the line, and has NEVER been much of a red-zone receiver – three qualities Buffalo REALLY needs from its’ receivers. Watkins’ skill set complements and fills those needs very well …and I really think he’s going to make Williams, Woods, Grissom, Chandler, and the rest MORE effective because of all of the coverage he’s going to see. BUT – he’s STILL going to be successful on his own, because this guy GETS OPEN and CATCHES THE BALL. EJ’s gonna quickly use him as a security blanket, while also popping off some downfield throws to him as well.

    And remember – with the WR corps getting more attention because of Watkins, the running game will be even MORE effective. Holes will open more for Spiller and Jackson because coverages – especially safeties – are going to be farther away from the line and the middle of the field after the WRs draw coverages away and down the field. Spiller can gain 1,200 yards this coming season just from having Watkins and Williams on the field.

    Now, Buffalo needs to draft some OL players (a guard and/or a tackle), a linebacker or two …and a running back. That’s how I see the rest of the draft proceeding.

  • daxacer

    the only ‘waste’ is this article. Every expert, analyst, and casual observer knew Watkins was going in the top 5. He was the number one rated offensive player in the draft and the highest graded wide receiver since AJ Green and Julio Jones. Research a little before you embarrass yourself