Wide receiver Sammy Watkins wowed rows of scouts and left legions of fans looking in via mobile streaming on ESPN pining for the potential top five draft pick.
Watkins did not run the 40-yard dash, choosing to let his 4.43 at the NFL Scouting Combine last month stand, but he displayed big, soft and powerful hands, explosive speed into and out of breaks and the ability to go get the ball at its highest point as a receiver for quarterback Tajh Boyd.
At least 31 teams were accounted for at the workout, which featured Watkins, wide receiver Martavis Bryant, Roderick McDowell and Boyd.
The St. Louis Rams, who own the Nos. 2 and 13 overall picks and could draft Watkins as a No. 1 receiver after average results from 2013 top-10 pick Tavon Austin, were well represented, including general manager Les Snead. The Rams haven't been to the playoffs since 2004 with first-round wide receiver Torry Holt and second-rounder Isaac Bruce. But St. Louis is in need of playmakers despite drafting receivers Austin (8th overall, 2013), Brian Quick (33rd, 2012), Chris Givens (96, 2012), Austin Pettis (78, 2011) and Mardy Gilyard (99, 2010) in the top 100 in recent years.
Detroit sent a good chunk of its front office. General manager Martin Mayhew, who stated wide receiver help for Matthew Stafford opposite All-Pro Calvin Johnson was a priority, was spotted.
New York Jets general manager John Idzik and head coach Rex Ryan -- whose son Seth is a walk-on at Clemson -- were early arrivals.
Delegates from the Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders were also in attendance as were Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith -- working for ESPN -- and former Clemson running back C.J. Spiller of the Buffalo Bills.
Watkins is the No. 1 wide receiver in NFLDraftScout.com's rankings. The last wide receiver drafted first overall was Keyshawn Johnson (Jets), who was also at Clemson's workout Thursday.
Wide receivers are considered difficult projections by most scouts, and while the fouls and corkscrew swinging misses stand out when reviewing first-round receivers -- Mike Williams, Reggie Williams, David Terrell, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Ted Ginn were top-10 picks -- the more recent trend is more positive.
Johnson, Julio Jones of the Falcons, A.J. Green of the Bengals and Larry Fitzgerald (Cardinals) were drafted in the top 10 and have Pro Bowl resumes.
Fitzgerald stood and saluted Watkins' world-beater performance against Ohio State in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl: 16 receptions for 227 yards and two touchdowns. On his 31-yard third quarter touchdown reception, Fitzgerald said in realtime via Twitter: "Sammy Watkins = Snag!"
from Atlanta Journal Constitution: