Sammy Watkins stole most of the Clemson headlines last season, and deservedly so, after catching 101 passes for 1,464 yard and 12 touchdowns.
Watkins is considered the best receiver available in next month’s NFL Draft and a top 5 pick.
He wasn’t the only playmaker in the Tigers' passing game in 2013, however.
Martavis Bryant quietly recorded 42 catches, 828 yards and seven touchdowns, including 17 catches of 20-plus yards.
The Lions, who are still in the market for at least one more pass catcher, hosted Bryant in Allen Park for one of their 30 allotted pre-draft visits on Thursday.
While Watkins is considered an immediate impact player for whichever team he ends up on, Bryant is considered a second- or third-round pick and has a little more to prove, but his upside could be off the charts.
Bryant measures in at 6-foot-4, 211 pounds and wowed a lot of NFL people at February’s NFL Scouting Combine when he ran a 4.42-second 40-yard dash (fifth best among receivers) and jumped 39 inches in the vertical.
“It was good to show people what I could do,” Bryant told Detroitlions.com during his visit. “Some people though I’d run a 4.5, but I always knew I was fast. It was just good to get out there and showcase what I can do along with all the other great players out there.”
Those kinds of numbers had to open some NFL executives’ eyes on a 6-4, 211 frame.
Bryant can still improve his route running and work on catching the football with his hands more consistently, but he’s an intriguing prospect.
Asked what the best aspect of his game his, Bryant just smiled and said, “The deep ball.”
That’s not a big surprise considering his frame and his speed. He had a career average of 22.1 yards per catch at Clemson and certainly looks like someone who can stretch a defense with a 9 route or fade.
Bryant may have flown under the radar playing alongside Watkins, but he is excited to for all the success his former teammate has had and is ready to have some of his own at the next level.
“I did what I could control,” Bryant said of his time at Clemson. “Sammy is going to be Sammy regardless. Me and Sammy are close and I’ve been happy for him ever since I was a freshman.”
Bryant said it took a couple years at Clemson for him to really mature as a player and man. He said he lost the trust of coaches as a freshman because he didn’t handle criticism well, but stuck with it, got better, and broke out in 2013.
He had 19 receptions his first two years, before becoming a real threat as a junior last year.
And Bryant doesn’t think people have seen his best football yet. He may just be right.