Sammy Watkins

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins (14) catches a pass for a touchdown in front of Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard (25) during the first half of an NFL football game Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

Bill Wippert

A FOX Sports story has been getting plenty of attention from Buffalo Bills fans this week. 

The story names Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins as a recent NFL Draft selection who's on the verge of becoming a bust. 

Watkins, who's entering his fourth season with the Bills, was drafted in 2014. He receives a lot more scrutiny than most picks because of how that draft played out. The Bills traded up to the No. 4 spot to take Watkins. By doing so the team gave up its first round selection in the 2015 draft. 

It wasn't Watkins' decision for the Bills to give up so much to draft him. But there tends to be a higher standard applied to him, whether it's fair or not. 

Watkins isn't a bust, nor is he on the way to becoming one. Yes, the Bills made a questionable trade. Yes, he's dealt with some injuries. But it takes more than that to label a player a bust. 

The reality: When Watkins is on the field — and being targeted — he usually produces. In his rookie year, he caught 65 passes for 982 yards and six touchdowns. 

He followed that up with an even better sophomore campaign in 2015. He had 60 receptions for 1,047 yards and nine touchdowns in 13 games. 

Last year, Watkins was banged up. He dealt with a foot issue that lingered for much of the season. He finished with 28 catches for 430 yards and two touchdowns. His best game came in Week 16, when he caught seven passes for 154 yards and a touchdown. 

There's no question that 2016 was a disappointing year for Watkins. But is that enough to call him a bust or to suggest he's on the verge of becoming one? No. 

Watkins is a great talent. He's easily the Bills' top receiver. When he's healthy, he can be a major contributor. He showed that in Week 16 last season. He showed that during much of the 2015 season. 

In 2017, he'll get another chance to show us what he can do. And he should be healthy. As long as he stays on the field, he won't have to worry about these silly labels. 

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