Before this year, I’m not sure I’d ever thought of Clemson as Wide Receiver U. Outside of Jerry Butler (255 yards and four touchdowns in his fourth NFL game) and Dwight “The Catch” Clark, how many Tigers wideouts have left much of a mark in the league?
What’s going on this season, though, with the Bills’ Sammy Watkins and the Steelers’ Martavis Bryant is pretty unusual. Watkins, the fourth pick in the draft, and Bryant, who went in Round 4, have been doing immense damage the past three weeks. They’ve scored eight touchdowns between them, and it could have been more if Sammy hadn’t had a bye week Sunday (after consecutive 100-yard games).
I’m trying to think of another school that has turned out two instant-impact wide receivers in the same year. The Miami trio of Michael Irvin (Cowboys, first round), Brian Blades (Seahawks, second round) and Brett Perriman (Saints, second round) all came out in 1988, but they didn’t create the early stir that Watkins and Bryant have.
In 2001 the Hurricanes had a pair of first-round wideouts, Santana Moss (Jets) and Reggie Wayne (Colts). But, as you may recall, they were even quieter as rookies than the Irvin/Blades/Perriman group.
Hmmm. Wait, I just came up with one. Two years ago, Baylor gave us Kendall Wright (Titans, first round) and Josh Gordon (Browns, second round of supplemental draft). That might be the most recent “comp.” At this point in the season, though, they didn’t have a particularly high profile (as much as anything, perhaps, because they played in Tennessee and Cleveland).
At any rate, I’m open to suggestions. If you can think of any other wide-receiver pairs from the same college who tore it up as rookies in the same year, by all means pass ’em along. Just thought the subject was worth raising.