When the #Buffalo Bills chose to spend some risky draft picks to move up and draft #Sammy Watkins, there were plenty of questions. There were also plenty of experts who derided the Bills decision and pointed to the fact that it would leave the Bills with a lack of depth at key positions. Years later, we can look back on that #Trade with the benefit of additional hindsight. Who really won in the trade the Bills made with the Browns?
Bills Trade Up for Sammy Watkins.
The Buffalo Bills traded a first round pick and a fourth round pick for a chance to draft the talented Clemson wide receiver with the 4th overall pick.
When they traded up, the Bills could have also chosen Khalil Mack, who has been a defensive force since entering the league. Watkins hasn't been the slam dunk that Mack has been, but he hasn't exactly been a disaster either.
In Watkins' rookie season, he nearly had 1000 yards receiving. In his second year, Watkins had an awesome season, finishing with more than 1000 yards receiving and finishing the second half of the season extremely strong. Watkins has struggled with injuries, but he remains the best wide receiver on the Bills roster.
Browns Side of the Deal.
The Cleveland Browns drafted Justin Gilbert with the 8th overall pick in the same draft where the Bills took Watkins. Gilbert has been, on all accounts, a complete bust. He is currently a free agent and struggled with the Browns when he was on the roster.
With the 19th overall pick that the Browns received from the Bills, they selected Cameron Erving, a center. The Browns did this even though they had Alex Mack on the roster. After Mack left, Erving took over as the starting center.
His impact has been nowhere close to the impact Watkins had on the Buffalo Bills.
With the fourth round pick received from Buffalo, Cleveland drafted Ibraheim Campbell, a safety who had practically no impact in 2015 with just 16 tackles. His role increased in 2016, as he had 48 tackles. But Campbell has no interceptions, zero passes defensed, and no fumble recoveries.
If there is a winner in this trade, it's the Buffalo Bills. They received a playmaking wide receiver who has had more of an impact on the team than the three players the Browns drafted combined. Even though the Bills yielded a first round pick, they received a surefire prospect in return. When teams trade up effectively, they can win, and the Bills, if Watkins can ever get completely healthy, definitely won this deal.