FOXSports.com's Cameron DaSilva is a bit premature in putting Sammy Watkins on a list of 11 recently drafted players he says are on the verge of becoming busts.
DaSilva has the Bills' receiver ranked No. 2, behind Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles.
"Watkins is trending toward becoming a bust because he’s missed so much time, and when he has been on the field, he’s struggled a bit – particularly this past season," DaSilva writes. "It’s unfair to call a player a bust simply based on injuries, which is why Watkins has avoided that label up to this point, but another injury-plagued season – or one with fewer than 1,000 yards – and Watkins will be in the conversation after going fourth overall in 2014."
It is unfair to make injuries the primary reason for a bust label. Watkins is an immensely talented player.
The much larger burden he carries than an inability to stay healthy is what the Bills gave up to go up to get him -- first- and fourth-round picks.
That isn't Watkins' fault, but he's going to be strapped with that forever, along with expectations that aren't realistic for someone who is paid to catch passes on a team with a run-first offense, mostly poor quarterback play, and a philosophy of trying to win with defense since his rookie year.
Watkins can't escape the fact that fellow '14 classmate Odell Beckham Jr. has produced overwhelmingly better numbers despite being selected eight spots later.
Has Watkins' career been disappointing? Yes. The Bills' refusal to pick up the fifth-year option of his rookie contract adds to that disappointment.
However, assuming he recovers from a second foot surgery, I'm not expecting Watkins to flop. If anything, he'll be more motivated than ever to cash in on his impending contractual freedom.