There were a handful of players that the Bills had on their board for their 10th overall pick. When the dust cleared on a wild top 10 Buffalo was able to get the second-best cornerback in the draft in South Carolina's Stephon Gilmore.
"It's a great feeling to be a Buffalo Bill," said Gilmore. "They have great fans and they picked me at the 10th spot so I'm happy to play for them."
Gilmore (6'0" 190) has impressive speed (4.38 40-time) and athleticism and his physical style of play is what made the Bills sit up and take notice.
"We talked about needing a corner with size and adding speed to our team and I think we did both with this guy," said Bills GM Buddy Nix. "This guy has been a 40-game starter in a pretty good league. He's got good ball skills and he's got great speed. He's a good tackler. He was high on our draft board from the start. When the corners started going I thought there might be a chance he wouldn't be there. We were fortunate I think to get him and he'll help our football team."
The South Carolina cornerback had eight interceptions in his college career and faced some of the best receivers in the SEC that are playing in the NFL already.
"I went against A.J. Green my freshman year," he said. "I went against Julio Jones. I went against Riley Cooper. The kid from the Oakland Raiders (Denarius Moore) who had a great year. I went against a lot of players that are in the NFL and did well against them. It's a great comfort knowing I played against them and competed against them. It's been a childhood dream to go and play in the NFL so I'm looking forward to it."
Perhaps the most important quality to Gilmore's game is his physical style, something that the Bills were seeking in a cornerback for a specific reason.
"The way the offenses spread you out, first of all you've got to be big enough to match up with detached tight ends, especially in our division," said Nix. "But what they'll do too and the same thing we do is spread you out with five receivers and then run the football and you've got to have a guy that can tackle and this guy is very physical as a corner."
"I love playing physical. I love playing football. I grew up playing football and grew up in a football town," said the Rock Hill, SC native. "And all I know is football so I'm looking forward to coming in and making my fans happy."