SID’s JOTTINGS

With Ra’Shede Hageman and Brock Vereen going in the first four rounds, the Gophers have their first NFL draft picks since Eric Decker and Nate Triplett were selected in 2010. It’s also the first time since 2001 that the Gophers have had two players go in the top four rounds. In 2001 Willie Middlebrooks went in the first round and Karon Riley and Ben Hamilton went in the fourth round.

• That was a good break for Vereen to be drafted by the Bears since head coach Marc Trestman followed the Gophers like no other college team this past season and knows what Vereen can do and was very high on him apparently. ... And Jerry Kill could brag about the fact the Jimmy Ward, a safety he recruited and coached at Northern Illinois, was the first-round pick of the 49ers, one of the best defensive teams in the NFL.

When asked about playing running back his first two years and linebacker his final two at UCLA, Vikings No. 1 draft pick Anthony Barr said he felt he could see some time as a running back as well as being a full-time linebacker in the NFL.

Sammy Watkins, the Syracuse wide receiver who was drafted fourth overall by the Buffalo Bills, has some interesting connections to the Twins. Watkins was a high school teammate of Hudson Boyd, a star tight end who was selected by the Twins in the second round of the 2011 draft and is now a relief pitcher for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Watkins is also the cousin of former Twins infielder Tommy Watkins, who is now the batting coach with the Kernels. Tommy Watkins was one of the most respected and well-liked players in the Twins organization, playing 10 years in the minors before getting called up in 2007. He played nine games in the pros, hitting .357 with two runs scored.