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Here’s one promising stat from Sammy Watkins’ disappointing season

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As much as he helped open up things for other players on offense, Sammy Watkins was a fairly big disappointment for the Rams in 2017. With only 39 catches for 593 yards, he was hardly the No. 1 receiver many fans and analysts expected him to be in his first year in L.A.

Sean McVay and Jared Goff will talk at length about what a great teammate he is and how much his presence helps the rest of the receiving corps, but at some point, he has to produce the way many want him to.

As disappointing as 2017 was for him, there were a few promising stats to take away from his season. One interesting statistic worth noting is Watkins’ reliability in close-quarter catches, or tight-window throws.

According to NextGen Stats, Watkins was the seventh-best receiver in the NFL when it comes to tight-window catches. He afforded a 93.1 passer rating on those throws, making difficult catches with defenders all around him.

However, his placement on this list, especially his wildly impressive 93.1 passer rating when targeted in tight windows, shows that he was quite valuable as a big-play threat in the Rams’ high-scoring offense. While it’s tempting to imagine the free-agent-to-be in a setting where he’d be a more featured piece of a passing game, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

Watkins showed he can make contested catches, but he has to be more consistent when it comes to getting separation. On average, he only created 2.5 yards of separation, which ranks toward the bottom of the NFL.

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