1. Do you remember watching the draft when you were younger? If so, does a certain player or moment stand out to you?
Yeah, so I definitely watched mostly every year – at least the first round. One of the ones that stood out the most to me was Marcus Mariota from a couple years ago, how he was projected to go, I think, first or second but he still decided to stay home with his friends or family, which I thought was really cool. Obviously, I didn't have that issue to decide to stay home or not because I wasn't going to go top 10. But I thought it was cool how he still decided to be home with his family and see all of his loved ones at the same time as the pick. That's probably the biggest specific memory I have of one person during the draft, but it made me realize how cool it was to actually be doing that same thing with my closest friends and family at home.
2. What was the most memorable part of the draft process for you?
The most memorable part for me was probably the team visits, where they would fly you out and you'd meet the coaches, see the facility. I actually wasn't supposed to visit Buffalo until very last minute. I think it was two days before the official 30 visits closed that I got a call from my agent, telling me that there was a Buffalo last minute trip scheduled and I was really excited just to get one more in before the deadline. Once I got there, my eyes were open to how cool Buffalo really is as a city and how nice the facilities are.
Most other facilities were very basic, and I mean in college, in the SEC, all the teams are competing with each other to recruit players and everything's got to be the best of the best. It wasn't like that everywhere in the NFL but then I got to Buffalo, and it was nicer than anything I'd ever seen before. It was really cool and then finally getting to sit down with Coach Boras and Coach McDermott, Coach Daboll, go out to dinner…it was pretty awesome to get to know everybody. That made it a lot more exciting when I actually got picked.
3. Can you describe how you felt in the days, hours, leading up to the draft?
Those are good words to describe it – anxious and nervous and also just excitement. I was just so ready to know where I was going because there had been so much anticipation for months. Technically, there are 32 cities and I didn't know which one I was going to end up in. So, I was very excited and very anxious to see where I was going to be spending the next few years of my life. Then the first night of the draft, the first round, I watched on TV. Then we actually went to the midnight premiere of "Avengers: Endgame." So, I was really excited about that after the first round and it was kind of weird, watching that movie and knowing the next day my life was going to be changed forever – hopefully the next day or next two days. It was a big mix of emotions leading up to it.
4. Did you watch the second and third rounds at home with your family? What was your setup like?
Yeah, so we were hoping that I would be drafted on Day 2, which was the second and third rounds. My mom loves going all out for stuff like this, so she went and got a projector screen for the living room and had extra seating. I could fit some friends in there and most of my family. Thankfully, most all my family lives in Nashville, so I was just at my parents' house. They had a great setup. We had a bunch of food and finally when the pick rolled around, everybody was able to sit there and watch it, which was really fun.
Scroll through to view photos of notable Bills second-round draft picks throughout franchise history. The Bills are currently slated to have their first pick in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft at number 54 overall.
5. How did you react when your named was called? Did you celebrate after?
Yeah, it was straight up celebration. Everybody was going nuts. My face started hurting from smiling so much. Friends were jumping on me. My brother actually was so excited, I don't think anyone knows this except for my family but, he went in to hug me so hard that he kind of basically punched me in the face, trying to hug me. It cut my lip, so there are pictures of me smiling with blood all in my teeth. I didn't really even notice it until someone pointed it out. There was so much adrenaline going. It was pretty funny.
It was just such a fun night. We actually were able to go downtown in Nashville after the pick, which was cool obviously because the draft was there, and we got to see everybody – the energy downtown and see the stage. It's crazy because the very first people we saw after getting out of a little bus that we rented to do downtown – there were hundreds of thousands of people in Nashville – were Carol Le Blanc who was the lady who announced the pick. She was on the corner of the road with her husband, just in the middle of [nowhere]. It wasn't even on Broadway – I think they were on their way home. So, the chances that we saw them, the very first people, was kind of crazy.
I signed the pick card for them and stuff, so it was really cool. What are the odds of that?
6. Do you have any advice for guys that are draft eligible this year?
Leading up to the draft, you don't want to get to nervous, you don't want to think to much into it, because it's really out of your control. So, just keep a level head, be thankful for the opportunity that you're given and just know that once everybody rolls into minicamp and OTAs start, it's not about where you got drafted. It's about how you play on the field. So, it's kind of like college recruiting, where the stars disappear after you get there. But, enjoy the process. It only happens once.