Clemson's Sammy Watkins says one of his goals has been to "dominate" the NFL Scouting Combine, and he plans to do so because he is "10 times faster than I was in college."
Watkins (6-foot-1, 205 pounds) is considered the No. 1 wide receiver in an extremely deep position group. He finished 11th nationally in 2013 with 101 receptions, was fifth with 1,464 yards and was tied for 10th with 12 TD catches. Still, he told The State newspaper of Columbia, S.C., that he was "a mess" in 2013.
"I am 10 times faster than I was in college," Watkins said. "My body was so messed up that I can get 10 times faster. I was using 60 percent of my body, and I have 40 percent more I need to get out."
He said he is planning to participate in all the combine events except the three-cone drill and the shuttle. Watkins supposedly ran a 4.27 40-yard dash in testing last year and is ready to put up a fast number at the combine.
"I don't want to say a specific time [in the 40]," Watkins told The State. "That is kind of hidden right now, but I will definitely have the fastest time or one of the two or three fastest at the combine."
He also said he is prepared to "ace the interviews" with the various front-office personnel.
One knock against Watkins is his route-running ability, and he said a former archrival has helped in that regard, crediting South Carolina wide receiver Bruce Ellington.
"They say I can't run routes, so I definitely have to show them that I am probably one of the best receivers at running routes in the combine," he said.
Watkins seems a lock to be a top-10 pick. How early he goes likely will be determined by his combine performances.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.