BILLS UPDATE: McKelvin's the Pick

With New Orleans and New England passing on cornerbacks, Buffalo had its pick of the litter and chose the multi-talented corner from Troy.

With the 11th overall pick, the Buffalo Bills went with the safe choice - the draft's top-rated cornerback, Leodis McKelvin.

McKelvin ties with defensive end DeMarcus Ware as the highest player ever drafted from Troy, something that seemed unlikely in the days leading up to the draft. With New Orleans and New England each needing a cornerback, conventional wisdom had Buffalo looking at Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie or Mike Jenkins (if they were lucky). But after swapping picks, the Saints took DT Sedrick Ellis and the Patriots opted for LB Jerod Mayo.

It was the best-case scenario for Russ Brandon in his first NFL Draft.

McKelvin isn't merely a cover corner. The Bills strengthened an area that needed no assistance. The rich got richer. McKelvin had 3,909 all-purpose yards at Troy - a school record. He tied a Division 1-A record for kick return touchdowns. In four years he averaged 13.1 yards per punt return and 23.7 per kick. Buffalo desperately needs playmakers, ball-hawkers, and game-changers to liven up a stale defense.

Buffalo may envision a triple-threat on its return teams, where Terrence McGee and Roscoe Parrish are already amongst the league's elite.

At cornerback, McKelvin could start immediately opposite of McGee. Jabari Greer struggled in spurts throughout last season, while newcomer William James has been hampered by injuries. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound McKelvin, who broke up 24 passes at Troy, figures to be a sizeable upgrade to Buffalo's 30th ranked defense.

In the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, McKelvin ran a 4.38 (8th best amongst corners). He also bench-pressed 225 lbs. 17 times - an indicator of his physicality. The Bills need a physical man-to-man corner to somehow disrupt Randy Moss and New England's unwordly offense.

Buffalo now must turn its attention to offense, where a solid crop of tight ends and wide receivers will be available in the second round.

We'll have more reports and analysis later on the BFR.


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