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2008 Buffalo Bills Draft Report
The NFL Draft kicks off the exciting 2008 NFL season and as soon as the picks are made official, fans start talking. At the start of the new season, the team’s most crucial picks were in the wide receiver position, cornerback position, and tight end position. The other wide receivers on the team were all below the standard five-foot-eleven, finding a taller man for the wide receiver position was important to the Bills. Going into the draft, the Bills had a slew of draft picks and made their first pick in Troy’s Leodis McKelvin, who some said was the best cornerback in the draft. They also picked Indiana’s James Hardy in Round 2, who is 6’5 and is one of the highest ranked players. It wasn’t until the fourth round that the tight end position was filled, with Kansas’ Derek Fine.
Some of the other picks were Chris Ellis from Virginia Tech who was picked to play a defensive end or cornerback, cornerback Reggie Corner from Akron, outside linebacker Alvin Bowen from Iowa State, running back Xavier Omon of Northwest Missouri State University, offensive tackle Demetrius Bell of Northwestern State University, receiver Steve Johnson of Kentucky and defensive back Kennard Cox of Pittsburgh.
What was the reaction from pros and fans? ESPN analysts called the draft picks fair and hailed the team’s acquisition of Leodis McKelvin and James Hardy. However, the picks of Reggie Corner and Derek Fine were seen as a bit long. Fan reaction was also mixed. While some believe the team benefited from some amazing early picks, other fans were surprised there were no trades. Instead, the Bills settled on five new offensive players and five new defensive players for a presumably ready team.
Clearly, there was plenty of praise 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 built for professional football. James Hardy has been a popular choice for most fans as he is obviously an asset to the team who is six-foot-six. Some have speculated that he’s exactly what the Bills need to remedy their “red zone drought.”
Chris Ellis was received less favorably, as he was not the number one pick and did not have an impressive weight at just 220 pounds. However, he is still valued by some observers for his running, passing abilities and of course his natural ability to not get blocked. The fact that Reggie Corner was chosen implied to some that the team was focused 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 in Akron and the team hopes he will continue that stardom and high performance in the big leagues.
With ten exciting new players, the Buffalo Bills hope to improve on their 2007 season record of 7-9 (the same final score they received in 2006) and make some noise in the AFC East once again.
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