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Buffalo Bills News - April 28, 2003

Marker Undrafted Free Agent: S Jerton Evans [3:11 PM] reports: Four-year starter who is a hard-hitting safety playing with a linebacker's mentality … Has started 42 games during his career … Recorded 293 tackles (194 solos) with 8 stops behind the line of scrimmage, 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 13 deflected passes and 6 interceptions in 47 contests.

Marker Undrafted Free Agent: LS Jon Dorenbos [3:10 PM] reports: Pronounced: Dorn-bus…moved from linebacker to fullback in the spring.

Marker Undrafted Free Agent: Offensive Tackle Gary Byrd [2:45 PM] reports: Has a strong, thick frame with good foot balance, impressive strength and quickness out of his stance.

Marker Haggan 'crushed' over seventh-round selection [1:45 PM]
Clarksdale Press Register reports: '"He's crushed," said Phillips referring to Haggan's late selection. "He thought he was a second-round pick. He's just crushed. There's nothing wrong with him. physically at all. This was a huge blow to him in many ways including financially."'

Marker Donahoe finds another draft gem [1:16 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'Besides, Buffalo's situation and McGahee's potential made grabbing him a bet too good to pass up. Especially since Donahoe placed it with found money.'

Marker It’s too early to grade the Bills’ draft [1:11 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '“I don’t think it’s ever been detrimental in football to have depth and competition. For the people who are in personnel, that’s our job, to get as many good football players at as many positions as we can.” He concluded, “That (competition) sorts itself out. Sometimes it’s because of injuries and sometimes it sorts itself out as far as what a player can or can’t do. Some players rise to the occasion in a competitive situation ... and some don’t.”'

Marker Bills Agree To Terms With 10 College Free Agents [12:51 PM] reports: The Bills today announced that the team has agreed to terms with 10 undrafted college free agents.
Gary Byrd, OT, Clemson; Jon Dorenbas, LS, UTEP; Jerton Evans, S, Virginia; Anthony Floyd, S, Louisville; Ken Hilliard, CB. TCU; Paris Jackson, WR, Utah; Jason Johnson, QB, Arizona; Jerel Myers, WR, LSU; Justin Sands, OT, Kansas; Randy Thomas, TE, Wake Forest

Marker Regarding Henry [12:48 PM] reports: It's a business, a tough business. Maybe they figure since you were the 58th pick in 2001, and if they can get 3,600 yards in three years out of you, and turn that into, say, the seventh player in 2004, they're making a great investment. Those are lots of maybes, but that's the only way this thing makes any sense to me at all.

Marker On Shocking Picks and Christmas Ghosts [12:30 PM]
BillsDaily reports: Then the camera shot broke to Willis McGahee talking on the phone. Damn
telemarketers – a guy is waiting to be drafted on national TV and someone is trying to sell him vinyl siding – man, those guys are annoying. The Commissioner stepped up to the podium and said something that sounded
like it was in slow motion or in a huge tin can or both. He said that the Bills had taken Willis McGahee – the college phenom with the bum knee.

Marker Draft report cards: How the 32 teams fared [10:28 AM]
CBSsportsline reports: General manager Tom Donahoe is one of the best in the business, but taking McGahee will be a decision that might haunt him. They re-grouped nicely to take Kelsay in the second round to help the pass rush.

Marker Bills draft analysis [10:27 AM]
Sportingnews reports: It's a good thing the Bills didn't need a lot of immediate help because they didn't get much. The team pulled the surprise of the draft by selecting running back Willis McGahee in the first round. This was a questionable selection

Marker McGahee pick is still talk of the town [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Even Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. said Sunday he had no idea the Bills would take McGahee until "about a half-hour before we made the pick."'

Marker Bills improve, but so does rest of AFC East [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It should make for a heck of a race. The Bills are better, but they're not alone. Miami didn't have much of a draft, but it signed linebacker Junior Seau to play alongside Zach Thomas. The Dolphins allowed the fewest points in the conference last season and they're the best defense in the AFC East until someone proves differently.'

Marker Aiken's awakening makes him quite a catch [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Aiken's NFL stock began to rise at the Senior Bowl. He had a great week of practice, showing he could get open against the best college cornerbacks. His strong week culminated in a six-catch, 69-yard outing that earned him offensive MVP honors for the South team.'

Marker Northwestern State's McGee gets up on right side of the bed [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I was in bed," he said during a conference call. "I heard the phone ring so I didn't get to watch it on TV. I was happy. I didn't really expect it."'

Marker Q&A with Ben Sobieski [8:06 AM]
Iowa City Press Citizen reports: '[Q:] In what round do you think you will be picked? [A:] I've heard as early as late in the third round. But I think a lot of teams have me fourth through sixth. My agent says that he's had guys rated fourth through sixth before and some of them end up in the second round and some of them have ended up as free agents.'

Marker Sobieski puts injuries behind [8:04 AM]
Iowa City Press Citizen reports: 'Sobieski missed all of 1999 after having shoulder surgery. He sat out the next season following an operation on his other shoulder. Sobieski saw limited action in 2001. He was bothered by hamstring and neck injuries.'

Marker Kelsay shuffling off to Buffalo [8:01 AM]
Omaha World Herald reports: 'The cell phone rings, and Kelsay moves forward in his seat. It's the Bills, they're on the clock, and they want Kelsay. They say they like his motor. Kelsay responds with a rapid series of, "Yes sirs." Five minutes later, he hangs up and lets out a deep sigh. "I'm a Buffalo Bill."'

Marker GM's rep makes McGahee pick credible [7:46 AM] reports: 'For now, I'm figuring Donahoe will put together something McGahee would accept that fits the Bills' short- and long-term needs. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. He deserves it.'

Marker Dorenbos rises from tragedy [7:18 AM]
ESPN reports: '" Even on tape," said St. Louis Rams special teams coach Bobby April, "it's clear the guy is amazing. He's the best I've seen this year. And he might be the best in a lot of years, maybe among the top guys I've ever seen. I know we won't take him, because we used a draft pick (in 2002) on our snapper (Chris Massey), and he's excellent. But I'll tell you, Dorenbos is something else, he really is, man."'

Marker Bills' brain trust cool, and focused [5:20 AM]
D and C reports: 'Buffalo’s receivers coach, Fred Graves, compared Aiken to the Bills’ second-round choice of a year ago, Josh Reed, in that he has similar speed and run-after-catch attributes.'

Marker McGahee or Henry? It's trouble [5:19 AM]
D and C reports: 'We all know there’s only one football. Let the new soap opera begin.'

Marker Bills say agent had no say on their plan [5:18 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Bills claimed they were hardly duped. “I’ve known Drew Rosenhaus for 20 years,” GM Tom Donahoe said. “Drew does a great job for his clients. But as good as Drew does his job as an agent, he doesn’t do our job. There’s nothing that he said that had any influence on our decision. We made our decision based on the ability of Willis McGahee and the medical information that we had.”'

Marker MSU fullback Griffith heads list of Mississippi draftees [5:17 AM]
Jackson Clarion Ledger reports: 'Haggan also went to a team in need. The Bills spent the offseason reshaping one of the league's worst defenses. "It's a great situation for me to go in there and make a name for myself," Haggan said. "If I can't play (at linebacker) this year, then I'll play on special teams. I just want to help them any way I can."'

Marker Former UTEP deep snapper signed by Bills [5:16 AM]
El Paso Times reports: 'Dorenbos, 22, guaranteed by the Bills to be the only deep snapper in camp, is expected to report to a mini-camp in Buffalo today.'

Marker McGee latest Demon to have named called [5:15 AM]
Alexandria Town Talk reports: '"One of the things we really liked about him was his versatility," said Buffalo college scout Joe Haering. "He has good speed so he can be a cover man on kickoffs and punts. He can also return them, and he has the ability to play two positions between safety and corner."'

Marker State prospects fare well on draft's second day [5:14 AM]
Shreveport Times reports: 'McGee said he expects to earn playing time in Buffalo's nickel package. The Bills were successful turning last year's third-round pick, Stanford's Coy Wire, into a starter in his rookie season. "I went up there for a workout and saw they had a really good secondary," McGee said. "Plus, I'm familiar with (wide receivers) Josh Reed and Eric Moulds."'

Marker Area stars finally get the call [5:13 AM]
Raleigh News and Observer reports: 'Aiken led the Tar Heels with 68 catches for 990 yards, but his 4.62 time in the 40 might have caused him to fall to the fourth round. He was the 15th wide receiver drafted. "[The Bills] told me my work ethic and my character is what drew them to me," Aiken said.'

Marker Aiken, Holt go on second day of NFL draft [5:12 AM]
Durham Herald Sun reports: 'Sunday also saw three area players selected. North Carolina wideout Sam Aiken became the first area player chosen in the draft, going to Buffalo in the fourth round (127th overall). Ten picks later, Detroit picked N.C. State safety Terrence Holt in the fifth round. Another Wolfpack player, offensive tackle Scott Kooistra, went in the seventh round to Cincinnati (215th).'

Marker Aiken finally gets his call [5:11 AM]
Durham Herald Sun reports: 'Aiken had been talking to his grandmother when the call was disconnected. When the phone rang again, he thought it was her. "That phone call wasn’t her, it was the Buffalo Bills," Aiken said. "I was very excited. It’s a dream come true."'

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