Built for speed: Sammy Watkins, Martavis Bryant turn on the jets at NFL Combine

Tajh Boyd, Connor Shaw, Logan Thomas, Stephen Morris rank among top quarterbacks in 40-yard dash

Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins runs the 40-yard dash at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins runs the 40-yard dash at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

By all accounts, the NFL Combine has been a productive time for Clemson's first four participants - Brandon Thomas, Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant. Bashaud Breeland is in the Combine's final group, and will go through his paces on Tuesday.

While Watkins failed to quite live up to his intentions of "shocking the world" with his 40-yard dash performance, his back-to-back sub-4.40 (unofficial) clockings on Sunday were more than enough to cement his status at the top of the draft table.

Watkins was unofficially clocked at 4.34 seconds in his first attempt and followed it up with a 4.37 second encore. NFL.com later provided a revised "official" time of 4.43 seconds for Watkins.

Bryant matched Watkins with an unofficial best of 4.34, with an adjusted time of 4.42. Officially, Bryant placed ninth among the entire wide receivers-running backs-quarterbacks group that worked out on Sunday, with Watkins 11th.

Both Watkins and Bryant ranked among the best of the wide receivers in the broad jump, with Watkins placing fifth at 10-6 and Bryant eighth at 10-4.

Bryant placed sixth in the vertical jump at 39-0, while Watkins' vertical jump was 34.0.

Boyd registered a 40 time of 4.84 seconds, which placed him seventh among quarterbacks. Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas led the group with a time of 4.61, Miami's Stephen Morris was second at 4.63, followed by South Carolina's Connor Shaw at 4.66 and Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel at 4.69.

As the afternoon progressed, Watkins continued working his way through various timing stations and skill drills, reinforcing opinion that in terms of the whole package, he's in a class by himself among a deep and talented group of wide receivers.

Two of Bleacher Report's lead NFL writers were particularly effusive in their praise of Watkins.

"Watkins has a unique ability to win in the open field," wrote Matt Bowen. "Whether that is on special teams as a kick returner, catching the ball underneath or producing off the screen/jet sweep, Watkins displays his lateral quickness to make defenders miss."

Matt Miller agreed, describing Watkins as a "dominant" player with "unlimited potential."

"He's electricity personified, showing the speed and strength to break a play open at any time," Miller wrote. "He's also a versatile wide receiver, something you rarely see coming out of college these days."

During his interview session last week, Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll raved about Watkins, although with the 32nd pick of the draft, he has no shot at the Tigers' star.

"It all goes back to the makeup of the player," said Carroll after watching Watkins' weigh-in at the Combine. "What separates that guy? What makes him such a great football player? It's all the other elements. It's not (just) his height-weight-speed. It's...his gifts.

“It’s also the experiences he's had, the coaching he's had, the opportunity to play with great players. He had a great quarterback going through college. It's all of those things that make the guys what they are.”

© 2014 OrangeAndWhite.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 1

tigerrob44#291802 writes:

It’s beginning to sound as though Sammy has put himself in a position others just fanaticize about. I doubt seriously if he goes past the 5th pick and Houston, if they had a quarterback would take him first more than likely except for the fact the owner is a SC graduate. If the Clown goes first to Houston that is why and the reason Spurrier is at SC is because a membership at Augusta National was one of his perks. Cleveland may take Sammy with the 3rd pick or someone could trade and get him higher than that. I really don’t know what the difference is but a little more bonus money. Sammy will wind up making more than all of them and will play 10 or 12 years more than likely. All our guys seem to be doing very well and that’s good to see. All of us back here in SC are proud of you Clemson boys for being so good and we will miss you next year terribly and the next 25 years after next year. You all will always be missed around! Clemson, forever

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.