Entering the 2014 NFL Draft, many believed that defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was the top player available. However, that wasn’t the case for the Buffalo Bills.
According to Bills general manager Doug Whaley, Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who the team selected with their first-round pick, was the top player on the Buffalo draft board all along.
When the Bills had an opportunity to select Watkins, they jumped on that chance in hopes of adding a weapon that could help EJ Manuel progress.
From Albert Breer of NFL.com:
“(Jadeveon) Clowney was just slightly behind him,” Whaley said. “When he was gone No. 1, it was a no-brainer. It would’ve been a decision (if Clowney was there). But the way we ranked them, it was Sammy first.”
“For us, a bona fide No. 1 receiver (is something) we haven’t had since I’ve been here, and that’s been four years — and talking to them, it’s maybe since (Eric) Moulds,” Whaley said. “A bona fide guy who can open up things for other people, help the quarterback, and also affect how people attack us.”
Many NFL pundits believe that Manuel is ready for a breakthrough season in Buffalo, and having Watkins on the outside will certainly help.
The Bills are one of the rising teams in the NFL, but they will have to fight with the Patriots, Bills and Jets in the AFC East and find success if they want to prove to the rest of the league that they are on the right path to success.