Bills offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett is saying all the right things about maximizing the value of the No. 4 overall pick in this year's draft, wide receiver Sammy Watkins.
"He's a guy we've got to get the ball to a whole bunch," Hackett said last week of Watkins to the Buffalo News. "Good players just naturally start getting the ball, whether you call a play for them or not. I think it just shows here in practice. It might not necessarily be his number, but [quarterback E.J. Manuel ] just naturally finds him, throws it to him earlier, he goes up and catches it."
Hackett said that route-running will be something Watkins works very hard on this summer, but to this point, Hackett said Watkins has "been amazing, just the way he's attacked the whole thing...."
As Rotoworld astutely points out, this sounds like the 2014 edition of "Give him the ball until he throws up". Hopefully it's not.
Buffalo certainly needs a go-to wideout, and everyone seems to believe Watkins can be that guy. He's an obvious first-round pick for those in dynasty rookie drafts, and I think he can be a top-25 WR when all is said and done this season. Manuel's progression will largely determine that, but I think Watkins will work a WR3 from the start in 12-team leagues. It's nice to hear that he and Manuel are already building a solid rapport in practice.
It also wouldn't surprise me if Hackett's words fall hollow again. C.J. Spiller owners from last year understandably hate him.