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Bill G.M.: Sammy Watkins was his top player on draft board

Sammy Watkins AP

Bills rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins might not think he’s a superhero, but the team might not share that view.

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.

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25 Responses to “Bill G.M.: Sammy Watkins was his top player on draft board”
  1. gridironrat says: Jul 21, 2014 2:00 PM

    Bills gave up too much to get him, and by letting Stevie Johnson go they put a lot of pressure on this kid to perform the first year. The passing game won’t improve in Buffalo this year, but they are certainly assembling good talent.

  2. floratiotime says: Jul 21, 2014 2:10 PM

    Can’t wait to see some defensive back grab that hair.

  3. reeggss says: Jul 21, 2014 2:25 PM

    You don’t get a guy like this without finishing bottom 5 in the league, to get elite talent in the draft you have to either be really bad or give up a lot otherwise the bills would be primed for 8-8 seasons through the next ten years. 8-8 next year maybe but their time is coming.

  4. bpowder85 says: Jul 21, 2014 2:32 PM

    As much as I like Sammy Watkins, it’s too much compensation for a non-qb or a receiver not named Calvin Johnson, giving up a future 1st round pick was idiotic considering the Bills have been drafting towards the top half of the first round for a long time. You don’t mortgage you future for a receiver, especially in a draft where the receiver position was historically deep. If EJ Manuel doesn’t progress drastically (I have my doubts), the Cleveland Browns will have two top 10 picks in the 2015 NFL draft. That trade reeked of desperation, which is a stinky scent,

  5. iloveagoodnap says: Jul 21, 2014 2:38 PM

    gridironrat says:
    Jul 21, 2014 2:00 PM
    Bills gave up too much to get him, and by letting Stevie Johnson go they put a lot of pressure on this kid to perform the first year. The passing game won’t improve in Buffalo this year, but they are certainly assembling good talent.
    ………………………..
    Im so tired of people who know nothing about the Bills talking about Stevie as if he was great.

    The dude didn’t gel with the coaching staff, or Manuel and was becoming a distraction with his whining. Not to mention over the past 4 years Stevie turned the ball over on what would have been game winning plays 6 times. 6.

    Theyre better off. Mike Williams is every bit as talented as Stevie. Watkins, Goodwin & Woods are all young, talented guys. Stevie would have just been a roadblock for the development of their young WRs

  6. ddarlak says: Jul 21, 2014 2:39 PM

    agree’d, the first time he’s short of the goal line cuz of that hair, i’m gonna be pissed…

    game comes before looks bro, time to get the weed wacker out.

  7. cguy7 says: Jul 21, 2014 2:48 PM

    Says the guy who drafted him… Again, thanks for the top ten pick next year!

  8. wolff111 says: Jul 21, 2014 3:08 PM

    Stupid move by an amateur GM. He buried the team!

  9. bangithard says: Jul 21, 2014 3:08 PM

    The Bills Franchise has been irrelevant for 15 years – what does all this Bills talk matter?

    Aren’t they the first NFL team to play all their home games in Canada?

  10. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jul 21, 2014 3:21 PM

    With these GMs, it’s not about wins and losses. It’s about energizing the fan base and putting people in the seats. This pick accomplishes that much.

  11. gonzoforbills says: Jul 21, 2014 3:21 PM

    Says the guy who drafted him… Again, thanks for the top ten pick next year!
    ******************************************

    You’re welcome.
    You can use it to replace JohhnyBust…

  12. m2karateman says: Jul 21, 2014 3:24 PM

    I had Sammy Watkins as the top rated player as well. However, no way in Hell I would have given up a first rounder to move up and get him in a deep pool of receivers. Stupid move, but they did get a really good player.

  13. fumblenuts says: Jul 21, 2014 3:30 PM

    The BEST wr out of this draft class will be Paul Richardson out of Colorado……..mark it.

  14. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jul 21, 2014 3:38 PM

    Sammy Watkins was the best player in the draft. I agree with the Bills GM. Now the dumb Browns will have passed on both Julio Jones and Sammy Watkins and now have zero WRS that won’t be suspended for the year that are any good.

    There is a reason why they lose 10+ games every year

  15. VenerableAxiom says: Jul 21, 2014 3:48 PM

    No surprise they would have him over a DE, they’re pretty well set there. Bottom line regarding Watkins and the team, success is very dependent on EJ playing much better than last year, assuming he’s on the field.

  16. jpaq68 says: Jul 21, 2014 4:02 PM

    It doesn’t matter how good he is if there isn’t someone who can throw the ball to him.

  17. misteranderson41 says: Jul 21, 2014 4:30 PM

    i don’t understand getting rid of stevie….he probably had attitude problems with the new coaches….i would have kept him to open things up for sammy….then again if this RB from philly, brown, does anything it’ll make whaley look awfully smart

  18. catquick says: Jul 21, 2014 4:30 PM

    Watkins automatically makes all the other wideouts better, the TE more efficient, and gives the RB’s, who are awesome, just enough more room to go 7 yds instead of 3-4. That translates into less punts, more scoring chances and more wins. Those of you who keep carping about EJ don’t know football. Whaley does.

  19. nupe3 says: Jul 21, 2014 4:37 PM

    I love how people repeat what they hear on ESPN all over this message board. Stevie was pedestrian last year and painful to watch. He swapped him for a guy in Mike Williams who does not drop touchdowns and a WR who every so called draft expert says is in the AJ Green, Calvin, Julio range. Look at the drafts we have have had since Whaley has been in Buffalo nothing amateur or green about him. We have picked nothing but studs, starters and great free agent pickups. Compare it to your teams before you run your mouth. As for the sentiment that he needed to do this to save his Job he has fan support behind him, were selling more tickets than before, Jersey, etc. What kind of owner can’t read a spread sheet and figure out things are going in the right direction. Cleveland has had two draft picks in a year before and squandered them where are Trent Richardson and Brandon Wheedon ? How well did that second first round pick Brady Quinn Pan out ? so yes you can declare a winner before either team drafts and the seaons kicks off but our last few second round picks are starters and ROY candidates Kiko, Cordy so you can take that gamble when you hit on drafts

  20. reeggss says: Jul 21, 2014 4:44 PM

    Love all the browns talk of a top 10 pick next year. Bills picked 8 last year with a rookie QB, injured CJ and Stevie stonehands johnson as their top wideout. Good luck with that top 10 pick, more like high teens or 20’s, hey you can take the next Johnny Football

  21. dalcow4 says: Jul 21, 2014 5:46 PM

    Hmm.. not sure. What do you think, Toronto?

  22. keepyerstickontheice says: Jul 21, 2014 8:10 PM

    I think we need to get Rob Ford some tickets

  23. djshnooks says: Jul 21, 2014 9:07 PM

    Some of you are dumb as rocks.

    You don’t give up 1st round picks for non-QB’s? AJ Green, Julio Jones, Morris Claiborne (Gilmore is better), Trent Richardson…they all cost as much or more.

    Whaley is a bad GM, but Buffalo had to give him the job because so many other teams were trying to poach him away.

    Keep talking like you know something…but if you think this team lacks talent anywhere but QB, you know nothing about football.

  24. sfm073 says: Jul 22, 2014 2:14 AM

    A legit number one receiver that can catch 100 ball and score 10 plus touchdowns year in and year out is worth a number one draft pick. The bills have the run game, now they just need their young receivers and QB to step up and do what they were drafted to do.

  25. slick50ks says: Jul 22, 2014 8:08 AM

    Evens is the best WR from this draft, by far.

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