By Ashley Dunkak
ALLEN PARK (CBS DETROIT) – Detroit Lions wide receiver Golden Tate does not appear the least bit threatened by the possibility that his new team, only about a month after acquiring him, could trade up to draft heralded Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins.
“Hey, the more the merrier,” Tate said Wednesday. “A lot of respect for Sammy Watkins. I think he’s going to play a long time regardless of where he goes. I think he’d be a great addition to this offense, another deep threat for sure, another complement to myself, Calvin [Johnson], [Kevin] Ogletree, [Jeremy] Ross and the other guys in the locker room. We have a lot of explosive players, and if we can get another one, that just makes us better.
“I don’t see this locker room being a selfish locker room or getting upset that we brought in another great player,” Tate added. “The goal right now is to win games – win the division, go deep in the playoffs, earn home field advantage and make a run at the Super Bowl. I think that’s the only thing that’s important to us.”
Touted as the new No. 2 wide receiver for the Lions after the offseason release of Nate Burleson, Tate has been described by some analysts as more of a No. 3 than a No. 2. Having just left a Seattle Seahawks team that won a Super Bowl with him as its leading wide receiver, however, Tate has reason to be confident. He is coming off his best season, a year in which he snagged 64 passes – 41 of which went for first downs – for 898 yards.
Tate, along with Johnson, reportedly met with Watkins when Watkins visited Allen Park, and Tate smiled as he talked about the rookie-to-be.
“He seems to be a very humble guy,” Tate said. “His game speaks for itself. He’s kind of quiet, which you kind of expect that out of a rookie. Rookies shouldn’t talk much in the first place, in my eyes. We’ll see. I’ll be anxious to see this draft … I don’t know what we’re going to do, but I’m excited to see who we can bring into this organization to help us.”
Watkins caught 101 balls for 1,464 yards for Clemson last year.
Across the league, the wide receiver position gets more than its fair share of divas, but Tate is not concerned about a big-ego rookie being an issue if indeed the Lions draft a high-profile player.
“Early in your career, you get humbled real quickly – I know I did,” Tate said. “I’m sure any rookie drafted high comes in with a chip on his shoulder, and then you get around grown men who are fighting for their jobs, trying to feed their families, and you get humbled quickly, especially by the veteran guys who’ve been in the locker room playing for 10, 11, 12 years who’ve earned their respect. That’s not something I’m going to worry about. It’s going to play out the way it’s going to play out. I know I wasn’t bullied as a rookie, so whoever we bring in, I don’t think that’s going to be a problem.”