One To Go: Buffalo signs Hardy and others
James Hardy
James Hardy
BFR Publisher
Posted Jul 24, 2008


Wide receiver locked up in the nick of time, as Bills continue to sign draft picks

Any worries of Buffalo's offense starting training camp at less than full strength were quelled Thursday night.

The unit's prize addition - second-round pick James Hardy - signed an undisclosed contract. Leodis McKelvin is now the only player still left to sign.

Hardy is considered the missing piece to Buffalo's stagnant offense. Last season, Buffalo fielded the shortest receiving corps in the league as its top three wideouts all measured under six-feet tall.

The Indiana product Hardy is known as a physically strong possession receiver with a nose for the end zone. With the Hoosiers, he had a Wayne Gretzky-like scoring rate - 36 touchdowns in 33 games.

All of which came on a subpar team in a very tough Big 12 conference.

For Turk Schonert's new offense to click, Hardy must make an immediate impact. Schonert promises to push the ball downfield more. For this to become reality, Hardy will have to alleviate attention from No. 1 receiver, Lee Evans.

Schonert sees potential in Hardy.

"James is coming along. He's like every rookie, but his talent is there," said Schonert. "He's a great weapon and he and Trent just needs to get on the same page. He's just got to get a lot of reps and I've got to do a good job of putting him in good positions and simplifying it if I have to."

The Bills also signed defensive end Chris Ellis (3rd round, 72nd overall) and running back Xavier Omon (6th round, 179th overall).

Ellis had 53 tackles and 8.5 sacks for Virginia Tech last season. Omon is one of only two players in college football history to rush for at least 1,500 yards in each of his four seasons. With Northwest Missouri, Omon set 32 of 34 conference rushing records.

Read this for more analysis on Hardy.



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