Bills OC Nathaniel Hackett is excited by what WR Sammy Watkins, the fourth overall pick in the draft, can bring to the offense.
“He’s a guy we’ve got to get the ball to a whole bunch,” Hackett said. “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 EJ just naturally finds him, throws it to him earlier, he goes up and catches it.”
Hackett acknowledges that Watkins needs to work hard this summer on his route-running. The majority of his catches at Clemson last season came on receiver screens and vertical throws up the field.
“We’ll probably do that some, too,” Hackett smiled.
“I would say up to this point as a pro he’s been amazing, just the way he’s attacked this whole thing,” Hackett said. “He understands that he is a little bit behind from the route-running standpoint. He’s done a great job working hard, starting from the rookie minicamp, really throwing himself into the offense and the routes we want him to run, which are a lot of unique things he has done in the past. ... He’s got a lot of work to do from his route standpoint, which he knows.”
He’s not landing in a good situation, since the Bills are run-heavy and E.J. Manuel is his quarterback. But with Stevie Johnson out of the way, the potential is there for solid production. By all accounts he has shown a great work ethic, so if he’s a target-hog, he should be a fantasy starter (top 36) in 2014.