Since his early days in Buffalo, Sammy Watkins has been less of a go-to target and more of a complementary weapon. The world hasn't seen a dominant Watkins in years.
After signing as a free agent in Baltimore, Watkins hopes his latest fresh start ushers in a rebirth for the former No. 4 overall pick.
"It's time for the world to see Sammy Watkins, the one that was balling in college and running around the field having fun," Watkins said Monday, via Adam Teicher of ESPN. "I think I'm that guy. I just have to put a healthy season together.''
The Clemson product hasn't played a full 16-game slate since his rookie season. After going for 982 yards and 1,047 yards his first and second seasons in Buffalo, respectively, Watkins hasn't broken the 675 receiving yards mark in any of the past five seasons.
There have been flashes for the 6-foot-1 athletic wideout who owns run-after-catch ability, but consistency has been an issue. After three seasons in Buffalo, Watkins spent one season with the Rams as the field-stretcher.
His last three seasons have been spent as part of a deep corps in Kansas City. With Tyreek Hill the Chiefs' alpha and star tight end Travis Kelce getting most of the targets, Watkins was simply a role player. Outside of a few memorable postseason performances, the 27-year-old didn't dominate like a first-round pick.
Heading to Baltimore on a one-year, $5 million contract, there is a chance Watkins can swipe the top role away from Marquise Brown. Watkins enjoyed his best season under current Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman in Buffalo (2015). Baltimore operates a run-heavy scheme, but Watkins believes he can do damage returning to that system.
"When I was at Buffalo, I had my best times with him. ... So I can't complain," Watkins said of reuniting with Roman. "I know he's going to do well getting the ball, not only in my hands, Hollywood (Brown), and whatever receivers that we draft or whatever receivers are there. And Lamar (Jackson) is going to have fun throwing the ball around, passing I, just making plays. I think that's the most critical thing."
If Watkins can recapture his production from his first time working under Roman, he could hit a friendlier market next offseason.