Chad Ochocinco weighs in on whether or not Bills WR Sammy Watkins is elite

Getty Images/Al Bello

It’s officially day two of free agency in the NFL and the Buffalo Bills have yet to add a significant skill player to its offense. In fact, the team lost two of its major contributors from last year (not unexpectedly) when receivers Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin signed with the L.A. Rams and San Francisco 49ers yesterday.

With Woods and Goodwin jet-setting to the West Coast, it leaves the Bills WR depth chart thin and looking like this: Sammy Watkins, Walter Powell, Dezmin Lewis and Kolby Listenbee. It ain’t pretty as of now and while Buffalo is expected to add more receivers through the draft and maybe free agency, some fans are taking measures into their own hands by asking former players like Terrell Owens and most recently Chad Ochocinco Johnson to come out of retirement. Obviously, most of these suggestions are made in jest, but when one fan asked Ochocinco to come play for the Bills because the team needs an elite receiver, the former Bengals play maker had this to say:

That’s a bold statement right now considering Watkins is currently recovering from his second foot surgery but given the source and that Ochocinco is a former player at the same position, it’s not surprising. But it does beckon the question…is Sammy Watkins elite?

He’s caught 153 receptions for 2,459 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns through 37 games in his first three NFL seasons. Those numbers alone don’t support the assertion that Sammy is elite. However, when healthy we’ve absolutely seen flashes of dominance from #14. This was especially evident over the second half of the 2015 season:

Sammy Watkins is elite

After Week 8 (2015)

While a nine-game stretch of being one of the NFL’s top receivers is solid evidence, it’s going to take more of that for Watkins to truly find himself in the elite category. The skill and talent appear to be there but the production needs to match. Sammy has also yet to play in all 16 regular season games, something that hopefully can be accomplished in the upcoming 2017 season.

Overall, my take is that Sammy Watkins is elite when he’s targeted like a true #1 WR and when healthy. If those two things can consistently happen, the production will come as #14 has the ability to give opposing defensive backs nightmares. Let’s hope Chad Ochocinco is right and that Sammy Watkins is elite!