Real Draft Grades: The 2008 Buffalo Bills

With the 2011 NFL Draft in the books, inevitably the immediate grades have come out. While they are a lot of fun to pick over, deep down we all know that it takes at least three years for a draft to develop. So with three years of game time experience lets look at the 2008 class. We'll take a look at each team's class individually, as a whole, and take a look at what they were saying immediately after the 2008 draft.

Hopefully, you've already gone over the Cardinals, Falcons, and Ravens 2008 drafts as we turn our attention to the Buffalo Bills!

Round 1:  11(11)  Leodis McKelvin  CB  Troy  Grade: C

 - Was supposed to be a top corner and return guy, but injuries and lackluster play have McKelvin in a back-up role on the current roster.

Round 2:  10(41)  James Hardy  WR  Indiana  Grade: D-

- Waived in '09 & '10, he was signed by the Ravens in January of this year. Has played in 16 games from '08-'09 with 10 catches and 2 TDs.

Round 3:  9(72)  Chris Ellis  DE  Virginia Tech  Grade: C-

- Played 15 games for the Bills before being waived in '10. Grabbed by the Steelers soon after being waived and signed a practice squad/futures contract in February.

Round 4:  15(114)  Reggie Corner  CB  Akron  Grade: B-

- Reggie has been a big surprise, even starting over the Bills 2008 first round pick. Not elite, but productive. Has played in 44 games with 18 PDef.

Round 4:  33(132)  Derek Fine  TE  Kansas  Grade: F

- No longer in NFL

Round 5:  12(147)  Alvin Bowen  OLB  Iowa State  Grade: D-

- Has jumped from the practice squads of the Bills, Redskins, Seahawks, and finally Jaguars in '10. Has played in 2 games recorded 1 tackle.

Round 6:  13(179)  Xaiver Oman  RB  NW Missouri State  Grade: F

- No longer in NFL

Round 7:  12(219)  Demetrius Bell  OT  Northwestern State  Grade: B

- For a 7th round pick to start at left tackle in the NFL is the definition of getting the most out of a player. Not an elite tackle, but will still have a spot on the line if one is taken early in the 2012 draft.

Round 7:  17(224)  Steve Johnson  WR  Kentucky  Grade: A

- Funny that the best player the Bills selected came at pick 224. Has been exceptionally productive and a huge part of the Buffalo passing attack.

Round 7:  44(251)  Kennard Cox  CB  Pittsburgh  Grade: C+

- Another practice squad journeyman. has been on the Bills, Packers, Jags, and Seahawks. Signed a 1 year contract with Seattle in February. Played in 11 games for Seattle in '10 (17 total career games). This draft grade is more because he is still playing the NFL even though its not with his original team. The BIlls found a lot of talent in the 7th round.


0 Pro Bowlers, 3 Starters, and 1 Back-ups - An alarming number of picks no longer with team/in NFL (6 of 10 picks no longer on team), but found some gems later in the draft.

Overall Draft Grade: C-


Here is what Mel Kiper Jr. had to say after the 2008 Draft:

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.

Here is what Pete Prisco had to say after the 2008 Draft:

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-.

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