Buffalo Bills 2008 Preliminary Report
The NFL draft features the exciting 2008 NFL season and as soon as the picks are made official, fans start talking. Heading into the new season, the team’s top picks were at wide receiver, cornerback and tight end. The other wide receivers on the team were all less than the standard five-foot-eleven-inch, finding a bigger man for the wide receiver position was important to the Bills. When the draft began, the Bills had a number of draft picks and made their first pick on Leodis McKelvin de Troy, who some believe was the best cornerback in the draft. They also picked Indiana’s James Hardy in Round 2, who is 6’5 tall and one of the top-ranked players. It wasn’t until the fourth round that the tight end position was filled, with Derek Fine of Kansas.
Some of the other picks were Virginia Tech’s Chris Ellis, who was chosen to play defensive end or cornerback, Akron’s cornerback Reggie Corner, Iowa State outside linebacker Alvin Bowen, Northwest Missouri State University running back Xavier Omon, the offensive tackle Demetrius Bell of Northwestern State University, wide receiver Steve Johnson of Kentucky and defensive back Kennard Cox of Pittsburgh.
What was the reaction from professionals and amateurs? ESPN analysts called the draft picks fair and praised the team’s acquisition of Leodis McKelvin and James Hardy. However, the selections of Reggie Corner and Derek Fine were considered a bit over the top. The reaction from fans was also mixed. While some believe the team enjoyed some incredible selections early on, other fans were surprised that there were no trade-offs. Instead, the Bills settled on five new offensive players and five new defensive players for a presumably ready team.
Obviously, the accolades were high for cornerback Leodis McKelvin, who many consider the best cornerback in the draft. While some have acknowledged his lack of “hands”, most agree that he will learn over time, as the rest of his body is made for professional soccer. James Hardy has been a popular choice for most fans as he’s obviously an asset to the six-foot-six-inch team. Some have speculated that he is exactly what the Bills need to fix their “Red Zone drought.”
Chris Ellis was received less favorably, as he wasn’t the number one pick and he wasn’t impressive weight at just 220 pounds. However, he is still appreciated by some observers for his ability to run, run past, and of course his natural ability to avoid being blocked. The fact that Reggie Corner was selected implied to some that the team was focusing on the cornerback position for this draft. It’s easy to see why the Bills were impressed with Corner; was the talk of the town in Akron and the team hopes he will bring that stardom and high performance to the big leagues.
With ten exciting new players, the Buffalo Bills hope to improve their 2007 season record to 7-9 (the same final score they received in 2006) and make some noise in the AFC East once again.