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ACC tandems: Unproven talent surrounds Sammy Watkins


This is the second of our position-by-position look at the best tandems in the ACC this season. Today it's best receiving duo.

The best: Clemson

The duo: Sammy Watkins and ... well, we'll go with Martavis Bryant

ACC's best tandems

NFL Draft 365's Mike Huguenin takes a position-by-position look at the best tandems of NFL prospects in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013.

» Backfield: Miami's Morris and Johnson
» WR: Clemson's Watkins and Bryant
» OL: FSU's Erving and Jackson
» DL: UNC's Martin and Jackson
» LB: FSU's Jones and Smith
» DB: FSU's Brooks and Joyner

The reasoning: Watkins has as much talent as any receiver in the nation. He slumped last season (57 receptions for 708 yards and three TDs) after a great true freshman season in 2011 (82 receptions, 1,219 yards, 12 TDs). Watkins (6-foot-1, 205 pounds) has excellent speed, and is dangerous on deep passes and short routes. He needs to become more physical, and has said that his focus and intensity weren't what they needed to be last season. Watkins is a perfect fit for coordinator Chad Morris' offense and should vie for first-team All-America honors this fall.

While there is talent other than Watkins at the position, it is unproven. Martavis Bryant (6-5, 200), a junior, was a national top-100 recruit out of high school. Bryant is a physical marvel, with excellent size and speed and great overall athleticism. But he has just 19 catches in two seasons (six have gone for TDs). While he has all the physical tools, coaches have criticized him for not working hard on the field or in the classroom. This summer, though, teammates have said they noticed a renewed commitment to football, and he should end up with a starting job. Also worth mentioning is Charone Peake (6-3, 200), another junior who was a national top-100 recruit out of high school. Peake has good size and excellent speed and is elusive enough to play in the slot, but he has just 29 career receptions. He, too, has the potential to be a star in this offense.

Next up in this series: Offensive line duo on Thursday.

Follow Mike Huguenin on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.



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