Shuffling off to Buffalo – McKelvin selected by Bills with 11th pick in NFL Draft
With their first pick the Bills chose to address their defensive needs with the best cornerback still on the board. Buffalo snatched up Troy University’s Leodis McKelvin who was the first defensive back selection of the draft.
“He has outstanding speed,” said Bills scout Joe Haering. “He just jumps off the film.”
Haering says the two things he values most in defensive backs is transition or the ability to plant and drive off the back foot and catch up speed. McKelvin has both.
“He has those things,” said Haering. “He has transition, the speed; he’s an excellent athlete. I saw him the first time against Oklahoma State and he just flew off the film. When he’s on the back side in pursuit and coming over the top from the other side to get the angle and prevent the home run, he has unbelievable straight-out speed to catch guys.”
What makes him even more valuable are his impressive return skills. In fact in Haering’s mind, it made McKelvin more valuable in his eyes than Tennessee State’s Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and South Florida’s Mike Jenkins.
“He’s an excellent return guy both on kickoff and punts,” said Haering. “So a guy with that much speed and transition, and he’s a return guy; he’s a top talent.”
McKelvin is the Trojans’ second first round draft choice in the last four years. Defensive end DeMarcus Ware was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft. Both Ware and McKelvin were taken with the 11th overall selection in the draft.
McKelvin spent Draft day at the Fox Sports Grill in Atlanta with family and friends. He was, understandably, excited about being the first defensive back selected, even if he has to upgrade his wardrobe for the cold weather he will face in Buffalo.
“I really wanted to be the first cornerback taken,” McKelvin said. “I felt I could have been picked higher, but it’s Draft Day. Anything can happen. I guess I’ll go up there and make me some snow angels. I’m just ready to go out there and play.”