NEW YORK (WACH) - Former Clemson star Sammy Watkins was considered one of the elite players going into this year's draft, and on Thursday night he lived up to that billing at the NFL Draft.
Watkins, projected as high as a No. 2 pick, was selected No. 4 by the Buffalo Bills. Jacksonville traded the pick to the Buffalo with some draft night dealing.
The receiver joins Banks McFadden (1939, Brooklyn) and Gaines Adams (2007, Tampa Bay) as the highest draft picks out of Clemson in school history.
Watkins is now teammates with former Clemson runningback C.J. Spiller.
"I could not be happier for Sammy and his family. This is just unbelievable," said Clemson coach Dabo Swinney on Thursday night. "Two of the greatest players in Clemson history are now teammates. C.J. has been blowing up my phone since the announcement was made. This could not be a better situation for Sammy. The first thing I said to Sammy's mother is that he could not have a better mentor than C.J. Spiller. He'll show Sammy the ropes."
Watkins had a record-breaking junior season at Clemson with 101 catches for 1,464 yards and 12 touchdowns.
The 6-foot-1 receiver set 23 Clemson records in just three seasons. The Florida native leaves as Clemson's all-time leader with 240 receptions, 3,391 receiving yards, 27 touchdowns and 15 games with 100 or more yards.
His 27 touchdowns tied former teammate DeAndre Hopkins, who went on to be a first-round draft choice of the the Houston Texans in 2013. Watkins finished his career as the most outstanding player of the Orange Bowl. He caught 16 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns in No. 12 Clemson's 40-35 win over seventh-ranked Ohio State.
Watkins is one of three Clemson juniors who made themselves available for the draft, the most underclassmen from Clemson in one draft in history. The others are wide receiver Martavis Bryant and cornerback Bashaud Breeland.