Watkins has been somewhat overshadowed by a number of other additions this offseason including first-round pick Rashod Bateman.
But make no mistake, Watkins has quickly made his presence felt this summer. And early on, he’s been the team’s best wide receiver in training camp.
The Ravens coaching staff has praised their offseason addition for both his play on the field and his leadership. And those in the media have taken notice too.
Following the team’s third day of practices, ESPN’s Jamison Hensley called Watkins the Ravens’ “best WR so far in camp.”
Sammy Watkins has been the best wide receiver in Ravens training camp.
The Ravens signed Watkins to just a one-year, $6 million contract this past April as part of an attempt to revamp a passing attack that was the league’s worst a year ago.
Watkins has struggled mightily with injuries throughout his career and hasn’t played a full 16-game season since his rookie campaign.
But now that he’s healthy again, Watkins is proving that he shouldn’t be overlooked.
Head coach John Harbaugh praised the veteran wideout touting his competitiveness and work ethic.
"“He’s a pro. He’s been there before. He’s a fourth [overall] pick in the draft. He’s a talented guy. He loves ball. He has lot of insight for those guys. The other thing is his competitiveness. [His] play-to-play competitiveness [and] his size. He’s a physical guy. I think he’s excited about the program here in terms of work ethic.”"
With a renewed focus on the passing game, Watkins has a chance to make a big impact this season. His speed and deep-threat ability should allow the Ravens to stretch the field more than in recent years.
Harbaugh wasn’t the only one showering Watkins with praise. His teammates got in on the compliments as well.
Longtime cornerback Jimmy Smith had the following to say about matching up against Watkins.
"“It was always tough going against him. We talk it about it; our lockers are close. That dude is fast. He’s going to bring a lot of plays to our team.”"
Smith’s right. Watkins’ speed adds another element to the offense — an element that’s been missing for quite some time.
But don’t forget about Sammy Watkins. He has a chance to be more impactful than both of them.