If the Jets want an in-depth scouting report on Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins, they only need to hit up a contact of theirs who played alongside the first-round pick at Clemson. He also happens to be the son of head coach Rex Ryan.
Seth Ryan is a redshirt freshman at Clemson, and a wide receiver who was given a preferred walk-on after a solid high school career at Summit, New Jersey. Last season, Seth and Watkins were teammates and both members of Clemson's wide receiving corps.
“[He was] a great teammate, a great mentor, a true professional," Seth said. "He handled his business on and off the field. He always brought his 'A' game.”
- 7 things to know about Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray 10 Pictures
- Celebrity deaths 2018: All the stars we lost too soon 47 Pictures
When asked to do a scouting report on how to stop Watkins — the first wide receiver taken in this past draft — Seth admits the positives far outweigh the negatives:
Strengths: "For starters, I'd just say beast. A phenomenal athlete. He's got size, speed, strength and real smooth hands. For a wideout, it's key to be fluid. He goes from catch to tuck as fast as I've seen. If you drew up a wide receiver, he'd be it."
Weaknesses: "It's hard to point out something. To me, when I watched him when I first got here, the first thing I saw at wideout drills was how quick he was at the line. I knew he was going to be a player. I would only say that if they're real confident, you have to press him and have someone play over the top of him. Georgia tried that but he still gashed them a couple times."
On Wednesday during a conference call with the New York media, Rex snuck into the media work room and asked Watkins a question as if a member of the media. Ryan started off by asking, "Sammy, I've got a question: How did you help Seth Ryan out? How did he do out there? And if you could really help him, you wouldn't play this game."
The media on the call laughed, but Watkins seemed unsure what was happening.
Earlier in the call, however, Watkins did offer praise for the Jets head coach.
“I know Rex. I have seen him down there at Clemson a couple of times,” Watkins said. “He’s a great guy, great coach, great dad and he’s always been funny with me.”
Seth is a sports management major and hopes to follow his father into coaching. His uncle, Rob, is the defensive coordinator for the Saints. Grandfather Buddy is one of the most revered head coaches in NFL history.
He talks regularly with his father, who hasn't asked for any insight into Watkins heading into this week. Once in awhile, they will talk football, but mainly “he's more interested in school, life, how I'm doing.”
He's confident the Jets can stop Watkins.
“If my dad thinks there's a way, he will find it,” Seth said.
There have been no conversations between Seth and Watkins this week leading up to the Bills game, but Seth did joke he has an offer for his former teammate similar to his father's.
“I haven't spoken to him, but if he wants to come down and watch the game together, he's more than welcome,” Seth said.
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.