Is this the year that we finally get to see Leodis McKelvin shine on the defensive side of the ball? He has been lately a return man for this team and a very good at that but what about this team’s number two corner.
McKelvin was drafted by the Bills in the 2008 draft 11th overall. He played his college ball at Troy. During the course of his college career he was basically seen as a return man until he began to play more of the corner position in his junior year. His play throughout college landed him 3 All-Sun Belt Conference Honors.
Basically ask any Bills fans how they see Leodis and you will more than likely hear he’s a great return man. Every time he touches the ball you never know what can happen and in a blink of an eye can put a quick touchdown on the board. Some returns stats that others in this league would love to have look like this: 26.5 kick return AVG, 16 punt return AVG, 78 20+ yard returns, 13 40+ yard returns and 4 touchdowns in 64 games. Those stats have gotten him 2 All-Pro selections one in 2008 and 2012.
Some problems fans have had with Leodis is a major play that cost the Bills a game against the Patriots in 2009 and a recent contract that he signed this year. First the return he took out of the end zone with a little over 2:00 minutes left and eventually fumbled on his own 30 yard line. The Patriots then scored to take the lead and in the end win the game. As a result of this fumble McKelvin had two teenagers paint obscenities and things like “take a knee” on his lawn. I believe he got a bad rap for this as there was no way anyone would have known. If he takes the knee everyone thinks he doesn’t want to play and ball and other fans just see that as boring football. Fans want action and also to see plays made and what happened was just part of the game. The other problem people have with Mckelvin lately is his recent contract he signed. On March 9 of this year Leodis signed a new 4 year/20 million deal with 7.5million in guaranteed money. Fans wondered why this contract was so high for a return man. Then reports surfaced that he could compete for the number 2 corner job alongside Stephon Gilmore. McKelvin has played some corner for the Bills but hasn’t lived up to his 11th overall expectations. He has the speed but when it comes to ball skills he lacks in that department.
As we all wait for training camp to start I hope Mike Pettine works with Leodis and he becomes the Bills number 2 guy. He has the speed and the skills to play at this level and with a little better coaching and new fresh ideas his game could very much be elevated come the start of the season.
Thoughts on McKelvin.