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COMPLETE COVERAGE; Bills Draft Sammy Watkins

After making a bold move and trading up with the Cleveland Browns, the Buffalo Bills saw a chance to grab playmaking receiver Sammy Watkins of Clemson   Buffalo swapped spots with Cleveland, also sending a first- and fourth-round selection next year to move up from ninth to fourth.

Sammy Watkins for ClemsonWatkins comes to Buffalo after three years at Clemson

...capped off by a junior season that saw him rack up 101 receptions for 1,464 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Tigers, punctuated by an explosive performance in the 2014 Orange Bowl where he racked up 227 yards on 16 catches. As a freshman in 2011, Watkins burst onto the scene with 82 catches, 12 of those touchdowns, for 1,219 yards. That performance earned him a spot on the AP first-team All American squad.  Standing 6'1" and weighing 211 pounds, Watkins clocked in with a 4.43 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.

Watkins' Whirlwind Tour- In Buffalo 12 Hours after Being Drafted- Visits WBEN
Watkins' Buffalo visit started  one day after the Buffalo Bills selected the record breaking Clemson wide receiver with the fourth pick overall in Thursday night's draft.  The team traded away a first and fourth round pick next year to get him.

"It felt great that the Buffalo Bills believe in me, in my ability, in my character," Watkins said, in a wide ranging interview Friday morning with WBEN's John Zach & Susan Rose  "...I know it has been a great organization for many years, and I can't wait to be a part"

Sammy Watkins with John Zach & Susan Rose     HEAR IT HERE

See a photo album of his WBEN visit, at
And Read More or Watch Video of his Visit  HERE
The Trades:   Doug Whaley (pictured L)  was willing to risk future draft picks for the opportunity to land receiver Sammy Watkins and put the Buffalo Bills in a position to make the playoffs this season.

In his first NFL draft as the Bills general manager, Whaley struck a deal with the Cleveland Browns to move up five spots to select the Clemson receiver with the fourth pick on Thursday night. To get Watkins, Buffalo gave up its No. 9 pick this year, plus a first- and a fourth-round pick in next year's draft.

"We thought it was a calculated risk, and a risk we were willing to take," said Whaley, who took over after Buddy Nix stepped down a year ago. "The high cost of not making the playoffs is something we weighed, and we thought this guy was going to get us to the playoffs."    READ MORE

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A Watkins Photo Album


Browse the pictures at left or click HERE  for a larger version

Watkins was so excited to be drafted that he took a picture of himself and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at the draft podium at Radio City Music Hall.AP Photo


AP Photo
Above: UB linebacker Khalil Mack, right, poses for photos with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell  (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
AP PhotoKhalil Mack, right, from Buffalo, is congratulated after being selected fifth overall in the first round of the NFL football draft by the Oakland Raiders. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow):
AP Photo
Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack poses for photos on the red carpet upon arriving for the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

  UB's Khalil Mack Drafted By Oakland as 5th Pick Overall- Highest Ever Slot for UB

Thousands of students who packed into U.B.’s Alumni Arena cheered as the Oakland Raiders selected University at Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack with the fifth overall pick in the NFL draft.

Mack made history with Thursday night’s selection, becoming the highest draft pick in U.B. history.

The Florida native shot up the draft rankings with a stellar senior season at Buffalo in the Mid-American conference, posting 10½ sacks in his final year at college.

Mack made scouts take notice early in the season when he had nine tackles, 2½ sacks and an interception return for a touchdown in a loss to Ohio State.

Mack won the Jack Lambert Award and finished second to Alabama’s C.J. Mosley in the Butkus Award voting — both honoring the nation’s top linebackers. He set a conference record with 16 career forced fumbles. His 75 career tackles for a loss were the most at the NCAA level since 2000.

At 6-foot-2 and 251 pounds, Mack is touted to have the speed, strength and versatility to play any linebacker position. At the NFL combine in February, Mack topped linebacker prospects in four of six categories: the 40-yard dash (4.65 seconds), 20-yard shuttle (4.18 seconds), vertical jump (40 inches) and broad jump (128 inches).

General manager Reggie McKenzie has been unable to draft a star in two years at the helm in Oakland and is under severe pressure to bring in impact players as part of a rebuilding effort after the team posted back-to-back four-win seasons in his first two years.


Drafted players get song of their choice

NEW YORK (AP) -- Players attending the NFL draft get to choose a song that will be played when they walk on stage after being selected.

It's a first for the league, which has a record 30 players at Radio City Music Hall.

Jadeveon Clowney, who went No. 1 to the Houston Texans, greeted Commissioner Roger Goodell with "The Man" by Aloe Blacc.

Johnny Manziel's song "Draft Day" by Drake was no surprise. After all, his name is in the lyrics. Drake was also the choice of wide receivers Mike Evans and Sammy Watkins.

Khalil Mack and Greg Robinson both went with the hit song "Happy" by Pharrell Williams.

  AP Photo
Auburn outside tackle Greg Robinson poses ith his grandmother, Lydia Robinson, left, and mother, Rhonda Robinson at the NFL Draft . (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
THANKS MOM: Imagine Being Drafted  a Few Days Before Mother's Day

Before the clock started ticking Thursday in the first round, the AP asked players and their moms to share stories about each other ahead of Mother's Day on Sunday.

The players told us what they most loved and admired about their moms, and the moms gave us a few of their proudest moments and most precious memories.

Blake Bortles, the Central Florida quarterback picked third by Jacksonville, said it best of his mother, Suzy: "She's my hero."

Here's more from the NFL Class of 2014 and their moms:

SAMMY WATKINS, who was picked fourth by Buffalo: "She's beautiful, she's wonderful. She's supported me all my life. That's the one that birthed me, that's the one that disciplined me, took care of me all my life and grinded and struggled for me."

NICOLE McMILLER: "Everything in Sammy's life has been precious to me. His college years were precious because we never thought we would be able to afford him going to college."

KHALIL MACK, picked fifth by Oakland: "Oh man, she's beautiful. Her persistence, her intelligence and her wisdom. She's very wise. Her guidance has put me in the position to be able to talk to you."

YOLANDA MACK: "When he was a little boy he would get up every morning at 7 and listen to praise and worship on TV.

JADEVEON CLOWNEY, picked first by the Houston Texans: "She did everything she could to raise me to the young man I am today. She took care of me and did a great job. You can't tell? Look at me!"

JOSENNA CLOWNEY: "That's my baby. He was not this outgoing like he is today."


TEDDY BRIDGEWATER surprised his mom, a breast cancer survivor, with a pink Cadillac for her birthday earlier this week, provided by the car company. The Minnesota Vikings' pick had promised her the car when he was 9 years old.

"She told me that I'm blessed and God blessed me with talent so use it to the best of my ability and take advantage. She told me to have a purpose in life and that's one thing that I take away from her, besides her fight, determination and sacrifices that she made. To live that purpose out loud."

ROSE MURPHY: "When he was in third grade he was talking about the pink Escalade. I love it! I can't wait to get it back home to drive it."

C.J. MOSLEY, picked 17th by Baltimore: "My whole personality is based off her. She's laid back and quiet most of the time and I'm pretty much the same way. She raised me and my brother right and I'm proud to say that I grew up in a happy home. She was willing to do whatever she could to put food on the table and do whatever she could to keep us safe."

TRACY MOSELY: "Walking across the stage getting his degree. That was the best."


TAYLOR LEWAN, picked 11th by Tennessee: "She's always been a person, like myself, who goes to the beat of their own drum and is not really focused on money, just kind of enjoying yourself and being yourself. And she really taught me that."

KELLY RILEY: "He's kind of Mr. Tough Guy but then he does this little soft, sweet `I love you mom' thing. He has a very tender heart. He always had that really loving heart."


MIKE EVANS, who has a 2-year-old daughter and was picked seventh by Tampa Bay: "She's a strong woman. I watched her struggle a little bit when we were growing up, making sure we had everything we needed, just doing the best she could for us. I want to give her the world."

HEATHER KILGORE: "He never gave up. There were plenty of times he'd be upset and mad: `I quit, I quit.' The next day he'd get back up."

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