Heading into the 2012 NFL draft, two Buffalo Bills defensive backs are on the hot seat. Veteran 31-year-old cornerback Terrence McGee and 26-year-old Leodis McKelvin are in quite the predicament, as they are looking to prove their worth to a franchise seeking to turn the corner in the competitive AFC East division.
In the 2011 draft, the Bills got great value, selecting Aaron Williams in the second round out of Texas and Justin Rogers in the seventh round out of Richmond, as both players saw significant playing time
McKelvin had the most inconsistent season of his career since being drafted 11th overall in the 2008 NFL draft, appearing in all 16 games, but starting just six. He made one interception, deflected eight passes and made 27 tackles.
Terrence McGee, nagged by injuries the past two seasons, started just 10 games in that span. His value to the team is decreasing, as is his contract. McGee was slated to earn $8.2 million over the next two years before restructuring his contract earlier in the offseason to a deal which will now pay him $3.1 million over that same time span. That fact may be what retains him a 2012 roster spot.
Aaron Williams looks like the future starting cornerback for the Bills, as he made six starts, racking up 27 tackles and an interception while breaking up five passes and forcing a fumble. He is a physical corner who seemed to adjust to the game at a quick rate despite suffering a chest injury early in the season.
Justin Rogers is another kind of story. Appearing in 12 games, he took over return duties towards the end of the season, averaging 28.7 yards per kick return. He started a game in place of McKelvin, and on the year, he broke up four passes and intercepted another.
With the emergence of these two young corners and the reports of the Bills strongly looking at corners possibly early in the draft, the future looks uncertain for both Leodis McKelvin and Terrence McGee. General manager Buddy Nix stated in his recent press conference that he was really looking to upgrade the secondary both in skill and in a depth perspective, explaining that he didn’t want the Bills to get caught in a situation that they did last year, where injuries took a toll on the secondary.