The NFL draft introduces the exciting 2008 season of the NFL and as soon as the picks are made official, fans start to talk. Going into the new season, the team’s most crucial picks were in the wide receiver position, cornerback position and tight end position. The team’s other wide receivers were all less than the standard of five foot eleven inch, finding a larger man for the wide receiver position was important to the Bills. As the draft began, the Bills had a quantity of selections for the draft and made their first choice in Leodis McKelvin from Troy, who some believe was the top cornerback in the draft. They also chose James Hardy from Indiana in round 2, who stands 6’5 and is one of better-ranked players. It wasn’t until the fourth round where the tight end position was filled, with Derek Fine from Kansas.
Some of the other picks were Chris Ellis from Virginia Tech who was chosen to play a defensive end or cornerback, cornerback Reggie Corner from Akron, outside linebacker Alvin Bowen from Iowa State, running back Xavier Omon from Northwest Missouri State University, offensive tackle Demetrius Bell from Northwestern State University, wide receiver Steve Johnson from Kentucky and defensive back Kennard Cox from Pittsburgh.
What was the reaction from the pros and from the fans? ESPN analysts rated the draft picks as fair, and praised the team’s acquisition of Leodis McKelvin and James Hardy. However, Reggie Corner and Derek Fine’s picks were seen as a bit reaching. Fan reaction was also mixed. While some believe the team enjoyed some amazing picks early on, other fans were surprised that there were no trades. Instead the Bills settled on five new offensive players and five new defensive players for a presumably ready team.
Obviously praise was high for cornerback Leodis McKelvin who many consider to be the best cornerback in the draft. While some have acknowledged his lack of “hands”, most agree that he will learn over time since the rest of his body is built for professional football. James Hardy has been a popular choice for most fans, since he is obviously an asset to the team standing six foot six inches. Some have speculated he is exactly what the Bills need to fix their “Red Zone drought.”
Chris Ellis was received less favorably, as he was not the number one pick and was not an impressive weight at only 220 pounds. However, he is still appreciated by some observers for his running, pass rushing abilities and of course his natural skill to avoid being blocked. The fact that Reggie Corner was chosen 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; he was the talk of the town over at Akron and the team is hoping that he will carry over that stardom and high performance to the big leagues.
With ten exciting new players the Buffalo Bills hope to improve on their 2007 season record of 7-9 (the same ending score they received in 2006) and make some noise in the AFC East once again.
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