Head coach Doug Marrone (far left) made Sammy Watkins the Bills
' No. 1 draft priority. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)
The Buffalo Bills identified Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins as their top target in the 2014 NFL Draft, so they made sure they were going to land him. Buffalo traded with the Cleveland Browns to move up from the No. 9 spot to the No. 4 pick in exchange for a 2015 first-round pick and 2015 fourth-round pick.
It was a costly deal for Buffalo, but they were apparently willing to give up even more to land Watkins. According to Buffalo’s director of player personnel Jim Monos, the team was flirting with the idea of trading with the Houston Texans in order to move up to the No. 1 spot in an effort to guarantee they would land Watkins.
“We went with Houston right off the bat,” Monos said, via the team's official website. “We tried to go to No. 1. They weren’t having it. They knew who they wanted, so we started working our way right down.”
The Bills also tried to trade with the St. Louis Rams at No. 2 overall, before they anxiously waited to see what the Jacksonville Jaguars would do with the No. 3 pick. Buffalo knew the Jaguars were interested in a receiver, so they had to wait to see what the Jaguars did before going up to land the No. 4 pick with Cleveland.
“We really didn’t know,” Monos said. “Jacksonville never tipped it. We had just heard so much that they needed a receiver. We thought that this was going to be Sammy. We knew that if Jacksonville didn’t take him we had a shot.”
In the end, it all worked out for the Bills and it shows Watkins that he landed on a team that desperately wanted him. The only question is whether or not the move will pay off for the Bills, because they ignored a number of other needs in order to add a pass catcher.