Friday, May 2, 2008

Grading the Bills draft

(this was sharked from which sharked it from the buffalonews i believe)
By Michael David Smith

Bills: A

Buffalo needed a cornerback and a wide receiver and got them both with Leodis McKelvin and James Hardy. Third-round defensive end Chris Ellis is a good pass rusher, and fifth-round linebacker Alvin Bowen will make the special teams better. My ultra-sleeper is seventh-round wide receiver Steve Johnson, who had more than 1,000 yards and 13 touchdowns in his one and only season as a starter at Kentucky.

Athlon Sports
By Nathan Rush

Buffalo Bills
Grade: C

A poor confused Lee Evans jersey-wearing Bills fan looked disappointed after it was announced that Troy corner and return man Leodis McKelvin was Buffalo's top pick.

Somewhere along the way in the "drive for five" (Super Bowl appearances) no one told that guy McKelvin was the consensus top rated cornerback. But if fans wanted a sizable threat to line up opposite the speedy Evans at wide receiver, Indiana's 6'6", 220-pound pass-catcher James Hardy should provide just that.

The most interesting story, however, is offensive tackle Demetrius Bell out of Northwestern (La.) State. Bell is the son of former NBA star Karl Malone. Sadly, according to NFL notes, an 18-year-old Bell contacted Malone several years ago only to be told by the Mailman that it was "too late" and to go "earn his money on his own."

By Pete Prisco

Buffalo Bills

Best pick: They considered receiver, but opted for corner Leodis McKelvin in the first round. The value of a corner is much greater than a receiver, and they snagged the best cover player in the draft.

Questionable move: They took receiver James Hardy in the second round when Malcolm Kelly was still on the board. Kelly should have been the choice.

Second-day gem: Tight end Derek Fine, taken in the fourth round, can block, which is rare for a tight end these days.
Overall grade: B-.

Dallas Morning News
By Rick Gosselin

Buffalo C

The Bills came away with the best cornerback and best kick returner in the draft, and it's the same player - CB McKelvin. WR Hardy gives the Bills a huge target in the red zone. He's a great complement for speedy WR Lee Evans.
By Mel Kiper

Buffalo Bills: GRADE: C+

Cornerback Leodis McKelvin is going to be a very good player and I liked the pick. James Hardy is the big wide receiver the Bills need, someone who can be a threat in the red zone. Virginia Tech DE Chris Ellis is a decent pass-rusher, and I thought CB Reggie Corner and TE Derek Fine were reaches in the fourth round. I did like their late-round picks, RB Xavier Omon, OT Demetrius Bell and WR Steve Johnson.

Forth Worth Star-Telegram
By Charean Williams

Buffalo: The Bills have lost 14 of the past 15 games against the Patriots, so McKelvin and Hardy were drafted with that in mind. Grade: B
By John Czarnecki

The Bills made two solid picks on Saturday with cornerback Leodis McKelvin of Troy State and James Hardy, a big receiver from Indiana. Hardy had some discipline issues at Indiana, but he was the second ranked receiver on most draft boards. He was a solid choice at 41st overall. McKelvin returned seven kicks for touchdowns in college and should be a return threat. Virginia Tech DE Chris Ellis had 22 sacks and 36 tackles for losses in college, but has in-between size and attitude. Kansas TE Derek Fine has great hands, but lacks deep speed.
Grade: C

Kansas City Star
By Randy Covitz

Buffalo Bills - B
McKelvin fills a need in the secondary for a team that has to contend twice a year with the Patriots' league-leading passing game. Hardy, at 6-6, 217, is the biggest receiver ever drafted by the Bills, who hope he helps the 30th-ranked offense. Remember the last time the Bills took a DE from Virginia Tech?
By Gregg Rosenthal and Evan Silva

Buffalo Bills

Buffalo knows how to find hard-nosed defensive backs. It nabbed safety Donte Whitner a few years back, and now they have Leodis McKelvin - a similarly tough-minded tackler. Getting the top cornerback at pick 11 is a plus. The Bills needed playmakers, but their choices of receiver James Hardy and tight end Derrick Fine raised eyebrows. There were more dynamic and consistent players available at each position when Buffalo selected them.
Grade: B-
By Vic Carucci

Buffalo Bills

It usually doesn't work out this well, but the Bills addressed crying needs with their first two picks. In the first round, they landed the top-rated cornerback in the draft, Troy's Leodis McKelvin, who also should help in the return game. In the second, they landed their towering, athletic receiver in 6-foot-5 James Hardy, from Indiana. They additionally enhanced the depth of a defense ravaged by injuries last season with third-round end Chris Ellis, from Virginia Tech, and fourth-round cornerback Reggie Corner, from Akron.

San Diego Union Tribune
By Jerry Magee

Buffalo. Grade: C.
The Bills had the ill luck to be seeking a WR who could stretch the field in a year when the WR group was lacking. James Hardy has size, but the Bills wanted another quality.
By Paul Zimmerman

More drafts I like…
Buffalo Bills:
QB Trent Edwards wondered whether or not there was a big wideout with fine hands available, and mentioned how nice it would be to have one, and the conversation produced 6-5½, 216-pound James Hardy. He's not the only guy in the organization they made happy. Bobby April, the terrific special teams coach, cracked a bottle of champagne when they drafted Leodis McKelvin in the first round. Possibly the best corner available, but also a fine return man.

Tampa Tribune
By Ira Kaufman

Leodis McKelvin is expected to start immediately and he has the size and skills to help against New England's prodigious weapons. James Hardy's size should make him an effective red-zone threat opposite Lee Evans. Grade: B

USA Today
By Larry Weisman

Buffalo Bills:
Continuing to work on bolstering a subpar defense, Bills started the run on CBs with Leodis McKelvin. They'd never drafted a CB this high before. Talented returner as well for a club that highly values special teams. Also got the aptly named Reggie Corner, who plays that position. Got the big-body WR in second round (6-5 James Hardy, tallest WR they've drafted) to team with Lee Evans. Grade B-

Yahoo Sports
By Jason Cole

Buffalo Bills
Bottom line: B+.
Patience paid off for the Bills as the early run on defensive linemen allowed McKelvin to slip to No. 11 overall. The Bills got the best cornerback in the draft and didn't have to move up to get him. Hardy is an interesting prospect. His 6-foot-6 height should give the Bills a nice red zone receiver. Ellis isn't a bad pick for the third round, but he's not the most disciplined kid. The Bills continued to look for help at CB with Corner. Not the sexiest draft, but it should be effective.


  1. solid B draft for the bills. i definitely think hardy was the right guy to go with over kelly given the size difference and kelly's recent issues, but who knows, maybe i'll feel differently when the season starts. watch out for steve johnson...there's some sick highlights of him in the music city bowl game vs. fsu on youtube. i hope he's able to make the team.

  2. Thanks for spreading teh love!