Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins is taking on a new leadership role as he enters his fourth professional season.

Drafted fourth overall in 2014, Watkins was widely expected to carry the Bills’ offense, but numerous injuries have prevented the 23-year-old from realizing his full potential.

Ahead of the upcoming campaign, Watkins is the unquestioned commander of the team’s wide receiver group, and quarterback Tyrod Taylor provided him with a vote of confidence.

“The maturation process has definitely sped up for him,” Taylor said Thursday via ESPN’s Mike Rodak. “He’s older in the league. He knows what it takes, he knows where he wants to get. He’s working (hard) even down to eating right and putting the right things in his body. You can tell his attention to detail each day has definitely been different in years past that I’ve been around him.

“He’s always been a hard worker, but you can definitely tell that he’s out there in the right mindset and with a positive attitude, trying to help the guys that are around him, as well as questioning the quarterbacks, trying to pick our brains.”

Buffalo enters the season with an entirely new coaching staff as Sean McDermott looks to lead the club to the playoffs for the first time this century, while general manager Brandon Beane attempts to reinvent the team’s identity. Taylor and Watkins will be counted on to work in tandem to lift the offense to new heights, and it appears the duo are off to a good start this summer.

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