NFL DRAFT: Clemson’s Sammy Watkins a common link

Comment: Off

Buffalo Bills first round draft pick Sammy Watkins poses for photos with his father James McMiller, left, and mother Nicole McMiller at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y., Friday, May 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

Buffalo Bills first round draft pick Sammy Watkins poses for photos with his father James McMiller, left, and mother Nicole McMiller at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y., Friday, May 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

Buffalo Bills first round draft pick Sammy Watkins poses for photos at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y., Friday, May 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

Buy AP Photo Reprints

NEW YORK (AP) — Clemson star receiver Sammy Watkins was the common thread early on the final day of the NFL draft Saturday.

Watkins, the fourth overall selection in the first round by Buffalo, saw his older brother, Florida cornerback Jaylen Watkins, taken by Philadelphia to open the fourth round. Philadelphia acquired the selection the previous day from Houston, trading its third-round pick (No. 83) for the Texans’ fourth- and fifth-round spots.

The next pick was Sammy Watkins’ college teammate, cornerback Bashaud Breeland, who went up against the nation’s top wideout in practice for several years at Clemson.

Watkins’ fellow receiver with the Tigers, Martavis Bryant, also went in the fourth round, to Pittsburgh.

Andre Williams of Boston College, the nation’s leading rusher, went to the New York Giants, whose backfield has been plagued by injuries. Williams rushed for 2,177 yards and won the Doak Walker Award as America’s top running back in 2013, but he is considered a weak receiver.

Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey, like Williams, an All-American runner, was taken four spots later by Chicago. Oregon’s De’Anthony Thomas went to Kansas City, ostensibly to replace departed Dexter McCluster.

National champion Florida State had two players go in the first five picks Saturday: running back Devonta Freeman to Atlanta, and center Bryan Stork, another All-American, to New England.

Big 12 power Oklahoma, which was blanked in the first three rounds, broke through when the New York Jets drafted receiver Jalen Saunders.

While two other powerhouse programs, Texas and Georgia, did not yet have anyone taken, Duke did. When Buffalo made cornerback Ross Cockrell the 109th overall selection, it was the highest a Blue Devil had gone since offensive lineman Lennie Friedman went to Denver in the second round in 1999.

The first quarterback to go Saturday was a bit of surprise: inconsistent Logan Thomas of Virginia Tech. Thomas never really improved to the level expected during his career with the Hokies after a strong debut. He’s big, with a strong arm, but is turnover prone.

Still on the board were such college stars as quarterbacks A.J. McCarron of Alabama, Aaron Murray of Georgia and Zach Mettenberger of LSU. Missouri defensive end/linebacker Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to enter the draft, also is still waiting.

___

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

Associated Press

Comments

comments

About the Author