Do I want Sammy Watkins to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors? Yes. Wait…maybe, well, that’s a tough question.
My gut reaction? Yes. Absolutely. I want Watkins catching every ball E.J. Manuel puts in his zip code. I want touchdown celebrations and Sammy Watkins shout songs. I want Watkins on the cover of Madden 2015. I want the whole league to know that Nobody Circles the Wagons like Sammy Watkins and the Buffalo Bills.
How could Watkins winning rookie of the year honors not be good? It would mean he and Manuel develop chemistry. It would mean touchdowns and points that hopefully lead to wins. It would mean the Bills have a downfield target that should help Spiller and Jackson. This is all good.
History tells me to temper my enthusiasm just a bit. There have been two wide receivers to win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (ROTY) honor since 2000 – Anquan Boldin and Percy Harvin. Boldin caught 8 TDs and his Arizona Cardinals went 4-12. Harvin added 6 TDs to the 2009 Minnesota Vikings offense but the team only mustered a 7-9 record and missed the playoffs.
You have to go back to 1998 when Randy Moss earned Offensive ROTY honors and the Minnesota Vikings went 15-1 to find a season when a WR earned such honors and suited up for the postseason. That year, Moss grabbed 17 TD. It will be hard for Watkins to match Moss’ historic season especially considering the Bills entire receiving group netted just 16 TD total in 2013.
Neither the Bills or a ROTY wide receiver have made it to the playoffs this century. So, if you’re asking me if I want Watkins to take home the personal accolades, my final answer is yes. I guess I’m crazy enough to hope the kid might be good enough to break both streaks.