Bills General Manager Doug Whaley told Albert Breer of the NFL Network that he had no reservations making a bold draft-day trade to get Watkins, because they thought he was the best player in the entire NFL Draft.
“[Top pick 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.”
Giving up next year’s first is a steep price, particularly for a team which may not be a player away from a Super Bowl. But Whaley was confident Watkins could have an immediate impact.
“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.”
If Watkins can be that kind of player, the risk will be justified. Well, maybe not, but he at least gives the a legitimate playmaker in the passing game, which will give them some offensive balance.